Tim Heerdink is a poet who puts in the work of being a poet, and here within he has documented the processes of grief and sadness, fear and paranoia so that others may have a template to address their own sorrows. Whether he contemplates the tensions that weigh on us all or addresses his own personal anguishes, his words resonate true because he speaks from places we have been and where we will all go.
- Jonathan S Baker, author of Performance Anxieties
Final Flight as the Fog Becomes Night is a stunning collection of badass, heartfelt poems that beautifully chronicle tragedy, rebirth, and the unbroken circle of life with verses both plain-spoken and verses who dance across the page with a mystical urgency like blood pulsating in the veins that give life and wash it away, both brooding, gut-wrenching and hopeful. These are poems strong in their resolve to heal, and I champion them and admire them for the way he honors the women in his life from his mother to his wife and to his children and the muses, who have clearly blessed him and his pen with this grand and soulful achievement.
- Kevin Ridgeway, author of Too Young to Know
Welcome Home, Andromeda is a follow-up to Checking Tickets on Oumaumua.
Coming soon from Last Lights Press.
Tim Heerdink enters a nightmare landscape full force with his second full-length collection, Somniloquy & Trauma in the Knottseau Well. Following in a similar vein of The Human Remains, the poet captures alternate realities within sleep, bringing forth all that is strange & unwell in the process. Talking in his sleep, Heerdink tackles abnormal mental health along with traumas in a hell of his own creation.
Somniloquy & Trauma in the Knottseau Well is a haunted house. Each poem here another door rattling unlocked and opening on another nightmare, another monster, another ideation within myriad visions of hell. This is a walk through the dark side of imagination, poems where the last breath is crystalized like the soft focus of a stereoscope. Heerdink’s poems have that same burned hoarse whisper as Marlon Brando at the apocalypse end: the horror, the horror, the horror.
- Jason Baldinger, author of A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010-20
Is poetry dead? Does poetry still matter? Can poetry make a difference? Save a life? Even one life? Your own? Is poetry a healing art? Can poetry possibly be the path away from death in life? From suicide? Can you write your way out of the darkness? Or is life filled with too much damn pain for even poetry to save us? In Somniloquy & Trauma in the Knottseau Well, the brilliant young poet Tim Heerdink struggles with these questions and more. He’s walking a tightrope. Will he make it to the other side? I sure hope so. I’m pulling for him. Read the book and discover what this bright new Indiana voice has to say. You’ll be glad you did.
- Ron Whitehead, U.S. National Beat Poet Laureate
"Handling the visceral experience of living and loss with originality and keen awareness, poets Tim Heerdink and Tony Brewer distinguish themselves in their collaboration “Tabletop Anxieties & Sweet Decay.”
This is a collection of poems that gracefully scaffold the full range and various expressions of change and challenges. “I’m a walking art exhibit,” Heerdink writes, “making my path toward another stop.” “We…want to feel the fragile edges of each other & lift friable ink from pages with our own nervous oils,” Brewer adds.
The lines in Tabletop Anxieties & Sweet Decay” are finely wrought, but they also have the strength and age of iron. “The scissors are hungry/the toilet is sick/the refrigerator is an angry wet hen/ the house wheezes air/like a voice inside a skull,” writes Brewer in his poem, “The Scissors Are Hungry.” “I find myself listening to the growl/my gut makes when it remembers/food is all that matters when you’re out,” Heerdink confesses in “Take My Heart, Give Me a Fork.”
Heerdink and Brewer have distinct styles, and yet there is also a synergy in this poetic conversation that enables the writers to expand the reach of what they want to say. One haunting and memorable stanza from Heerdink: “Grief is a coin/where one side is love & the other pain.” An incisive admission from Brewer: “I often finish fights/that begin with my eyes.”
Life holds love and grief that is interchangeably (and often confusingly) both microscopic and unfathomable. It is a skillful poet who can communicate the full range—and raging intensity—of this—what it means to live, love, long for, and lose. In Tabletop Anxieties & Sweet Decay, Heerdink and Brewer manage to tell us about all of it in a style that is thrilling and unforgettable."
- Amy Alexander, author of Neverland Is Always an Island and The Legend of the Kettle Daughter
"Heerdink swallows you whole in his newest collection of poetry, using multiple species of birds and eroding homes to symbolize perhaps the most delicate yet weighted of topics, death; and surviving the loss of a loved one. With barbed wire teeth he cuts into the marrow of the human condition (as well as) portraying the beauty of earth in all of its majesty, from the smallest ruby cardinal to that enormous, dilapidated structure on a hilltop. If I were you, I would tread carefully yet confidently into a cacophony of birds in the house of dread..."
-Jon Koker, author of Son, Duv-Z, Daddy, Ghost, and Gospel of Scars
Every step you walk in a town, someone has passed. Their ghosts are all over, and Tim Heerdink pinpoints some of his own as he travels through southern Indiana in this long poem serving as the poet's Ghost Map.
A lone sailor hears a siren's call while adrift at sea in this long poem told in journal entries as waves of madness grow with the passing days.
"A wind-etched, sea scarred feel of oft-repeated ballads reaches out of “Siren’s Call.” Yet poet Tim Heerdink’s chiseled voice is equally modern, deeply landing on that isolated dread so many share in the year of Covid-19. Heerdink pens breathtaking lines that land hard and true, for we have all spent a season or more adrift of late:
I can’t remember the face
of the girl I left at home.
It’s been far too long
& this journey has failed
with the goal of bringing
What lasts in “Siren’s Call” is a feeling of survival against the odds. We cough, we gasp, but then, in song, we experience some transcendence that happens only after throwing away our ancient compass. “I toss it overboard,” the poet writes. “What use remains when I have this magnificent melody?”
With cinematic shadows and raw glimpses of light—which are ultimately a call to trust—Heerdink proves himself in “Siren’s Call” to be a master at conveying the painful, yet inevitably hopeful, beauty that comes with being a sensing, feeling creature in the midst of an ocean of cold uncertainty."
- Amy Alexander, author of Neverland is Always an Island
Checking Tickets on Oumaumua is not only an exploration of the celestial bodies and planets that make up the heavens, but it's also an exploration of the myriad of undiscovered galaxies and uncharted worlds that lie within our own hearts and minds.
These poems are imbued with child-like wonder and amazement, along with a search for answers both great and small.
From weighing the possibility of intelligent life, to grief and reverence for those lost on the way, Heerdink deftly guides us on this journey to our destination out among the stars.
- Joseph Fulkerson, author of thunderheads, Point of Diminishing Returns, Manchurian Mandate, 3 A.M. Blues, and The Glenmore Sessions
“Razed Monuments is a powerful representation of the Holocaust. It is like a time capsule recorded today in an artistic form to be used by future generations. Well done.”
–Stephen “Pista” Nasser, Holocaust survivor and author of My Brother’s Voice & Journey to Freedom
“On behalf of my mother, I would like to thank Tim Heerdink for keeping my mother’s message, story, and life lessons alive.”
–Alex Kor, son of Eva Mozes Kor
“In “I am Not a Jew,” a reader asks the author, why he cares so much about the Holocaust, to which Heerdink responds, “How can one care so little?” In these ambitious, heartfelt narrative poems, Heerdink gives voice to the voiceless and the personal becomes political. His message is clear. All of history, especially the holocaust can happen again if we let it.”
–Margaret McMullan, author of Where the Angels Lived
In The Human Remains, poet Tim Heerdink puts his own twist on the perennial admonition, Memento Mori remember death. Just as the philosopher Socrates exhorted: the unexamined life is not worth living, Heerdink reminds us that bone and flesh will turn to dust soon enough. In the depths of horror, Heerdink conjures the ghosts of the Holocaust in "Outside the Walls of Concentration" witness the slaughter of a people reduced to numbers, but then leads the reader to levity in "Confessions Heard by Eavesdropping" while flirting with presumption of grace against the temptation of infidelity and, perhaps, even death itself
The poet tenaciously clings to life and the hereafter, despite the undertow of death and its cold, hard grasp, breathing out to both the quick and the dead, the dying and the undead. His poetry reveals the dichotomy of human life, that while there is still time to wake, there is no escape; all that remains is a grave. Ever reminding the suicidal and the terminally ill of the brevity of life, nevertheless, Heerdink affirms that it hurts to be a man who often contemplates / the end; or hears the voice of the dead inside an echo. Though the poet tells the reader, I'm alive, we know that death comes for all the living - late or soon - invited or otherwise. Yet, behold, the human remains; yes, the human remains.
Red Flag and Other Poems commands attention with its message of remembrance for the Holocaust and vigilance for truth and justice in a world filled with deceit and injustice. Such an event as the Holocaust must never be allowed to happen again.
Proceeds from the sale of this book go to the C.A.N.D.L.E.S. Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Four unrelated people cross paths when they enter a cult that worships the sun, which is believed to burn out on a certain date. Many do not believe in silly apocalyptic rumors, especially since Y2K and 2012 turned out to be hoaxes, but this cult believes that if they worship the sun and give it praise, perhaps, it will give its final strength to them so that they can survive in the cold world to come.