Mark Zimmermann


Mark Zimmermann’s poems and prose have appeared in numerous publications. His first full-length poetry collection, Impersonations, was published by Pebblebrook Press in 2015. He is a member of the Hartford Avenue Poets, serves as the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets’ representative on the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, and teaches humanities and writing courses at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Zimmermann lives in Milwaukee with his wife and two cats.

Impersonations, Pebblebrook Press, 2015.


Author’s Note: The two poems below are lipograms, a literary form in which one or more letters of the alphabet are deliberately excluded. In the case of the poems here, the constraint is determined by the letters that appear in a title subject’s name. For instance, all words in the poem “Dr. Timothy Leary” use only letters drawn from the pool a-e-i-o-d-h-l-m-r-t-y; those in “Donald Trump, Sr.” from a-o-u-d-l-m-n-p-r-s-t, and so forth. Both of these poems use less than half the letters of the alphabet. They appear in Impersonations.

Dr. Timothy Leary
Hey! Let all herald the holy road—
do a hit, meditate,
Hello Earth!

Yeah, I loaded the head.
I dared it to alter
a dead reality.

It did. It relayed
matter to myth-head, related
atom to dreamer.

It married the old order
to a mirth armed to the teeth,
yet the old order loathed me.

They’d rather let it all die.
They’d rather adore
the death-head.

Later I did meet Death,
that hardy, mad old hatter.
I made him o.d.!

I died
yet here I am, already
immortal, yeah.

Donald Trump, Sr.

A small man’s monotonous lot
amounts to a rut on a dull map.

A Trump man’s dollar amount
maps a natural surplus.

A small man prompts no plan
to add onto unsold land.

A Trump man puts
a dollar amount on all land,

touts an all-out proposal:
Ad Plan     Dollar Plan