By Evelyn Zelmer 

(None County Career Center Community College Buckeye Joint Vocational

Well college didn’t work out so now I weld looking for my future stay at home wife. I’m looking
for a sweet country girl. I’m a country boy. What else could you ask for? I drive a small truck,
don’t need to compensate for anything. Im a mechanic so im good with my hands and i know
how to get dirty. I’m a mechanic I have a 2018 6.7 powerstroke and an 06 LBZ Duramax. If you
like your man dirty hot and sweaty who works hard for wat he wants, right here I am, when Im
off I jus like to chill and vibe and just have a dam good time. Love me some fire trucks. I’m all
about turtles. Probably thinking about climbing trees. Bull riding and cowboying is what I live
for. All I do is work and sleep break that cycle. I work midnights so don’t expect a response at a
decent hour. If I’m not at work i’m sleeping. I work full time at a dirty job. I work constantly so I
won’t be able to text much. Building my Own Business Father of a BabyGirl Still Work FullTime
Down For Anything. Blue Collard worker. Momma’s boy. 6’3 since it matters. My dream life,
pantless with a beer gut and a dog. Roughly four photos of me exist in this world, I’m not happy
to be in any of them. The biggest metalhead you’ll ever find. I have great hair and a greater dad
bod so if you like the strongman build, then I’m your guy! I love late night drives blasting music
down back roads. I deadass get paid to grind bricks flat and then heat them up. Dumb luck keeps
me alive. Long hair is no more, sorry for the inconvenience! Forklift Certified, like actually. Ohio
is the best state. Change my mind. Has to be an Ohio State fan. And if your name starts with a J
it’s never going to work.

*This poem is constructed from the Tinder bios of 20 randomly-selected blue-collar Ohio men
aged 18-25. Each sentence appeared in its entirety somewhere among that sample.

(Career Buckeye)*

I didn’t mind my dumb dad. Still I mind my Father.
I’m in the Business of Building a sweet future, a decent dream.
I dirty my hands climbing Collard trees.
Roughly four of me exist, and I’m not happy to be in any world.
I mind the fire blasting Full and hot at my metal head.
I dream of sleep. I want a wife to work out small matters.
I’m the biggest inconvenience you’ll ever grind flat.
I’m constantly a boy.
If I’m not at work, I’m cowboying turtles down backroads.
Probably thinking about a cycle to break.
Looking for midnights of decent luck. (Your Momma!)
Right here is a mechanic bull for riding, all night long.
(All I grind to is dirty sweaty country music, so expect a good time.)
I’m just looking for a fan, a dam, an up, an anything. A stroke (of luck).
Find me now in a state of need. Still, I’m good and I know how to get great.
“Stay like a dog and change like the hour.”
Actually, I’m about to gut your truck for your LBZ Duramax, sorry about it!
(I paid you for it in a dream.)
I’m a dream worker like Father J, so anything like power keeps me alive. And,
On any night I’m not at work,
Or any night I am,
I’m probably thinking about
Me, a certified strong man,
My truck,
A pantless girl in love,
About 3 bricks of beer,
And the best and biggest country on fire for ever–
Sweet Ohio, what else could I dream of?
My Baby, what else could you ask for?

*This poem only uses words found in the aforementioned 20 Tinder bios, but the original phrases
are disrupted and rearranged.

Born and raised in Newark, Ohio, Evelyn Zelmer is an emerging poet studying Geography, Anthropology, and Creative Writing at the University of Richmond. They were the 2022 and 2023 recipient of the Margaret Haley Carpenter Prize for Poetry, and they were a short-term Writer in Residence at the Sundress Academy for the Arts in 2023.