Friday, November 24, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Leap

thumb-smudged face descending in the water her eyes are closed dark hair unfurls to the surface bone buttons close her calico dress dots of white flowers on navy her eyes are closed she sees redwing blackbirds shifting in branches stabs of red at each shoulder the female a brown spot against the black is perhaps only sunlight sifting strong through the maple leaves her eyes are closed her skin bluer bluer she slips deeper into the river her petticoats ripple tiny bubbles like pearls slow rising pearls the current pulls her forward down her eyes are closed her palms open as she spins slowly the laces to her black boots flare out last summer she spun in the wheat first slowly then faster faster palms up to catch the sun arms wide like a tree flung up against the horizon she remembers falling too dizzy to catch herself her eyes closed
Spamland#2

I can't stop watching this.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I have some poems coming soon. IN the meanwhile, I got this from BoingBoing:

Zadie Smith on the practice of reading
From an interview with novelist Zadie Smith on KCRW's Bookworm program:

But the problem with readers, the idea we’re given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, "I should sit here and I should be entertained." And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don’t know, who they probably couldn’t comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That’s the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It’s an old moral, but it’s completely true.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday Nights

I hold his throat in my hand
and I feel it vibrating. We sit this way for long moments as I
drink rum and watch Jeopardy. Sometimes he falls asleep.

Sometimes I hold so still my cigarette
burns down to my knuckles.

I have the scars to prove it.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I went to this little bodega I never visit. AND THERE HE WAS! THE PERFECT PUN!

Ladies and gentlemen: the copycat



Thank you! I'm here all week. Try the veal.
REMINDER

I'm having a reading/networking event tomorrow at 8PM. It's in lovely Long Island City, nestled securely in the arms (or rhetorical devices) of the Women's Studio
Center, a beautiful art center that welcomes all genders. ALL. There will be chips and
salsa and perhaps some coffee. If pressed, I will bring mint chocolate cookies. And
it's all amazingly free.

I'm reading my new book, The Transparent Dinner (for more about it, go here:
www.christinehamm.org), and enouraging all the talented people in the room to network.
You might meet your next publisher, best friend, or bitter literary rival!

Here's the directions. (Personally, I take the 7 to Courthouse Square and walk two
blocks.)
Women's Studio Center Inc.
21-25 44 Avenue
Long Island City -- There's a big green awning sticking out over the street with some
regal looking flower pots flanking it. The awning declares Diego!, as he is our
supporter.

The Various Nearby Subway Stops:

G to Court Square (From Brooklyn)

7 to 45th Road/Courthouse Square

N to Queensborough Plaza

R to Queens Plaza

F to 21st Street/Queensbridge


For directions on the Womens Studio Website go here:
http://www.womenstudiocenter.org/id17.html

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New poem from the Hansel and Gretel series
…….
How the Witch Got Started


the snow outside
……. had blocked the doors
they had already burnt ……. the curtains for fuel
the light outside was pitiless

chandelier crystals hung
……. from pink threads
……. at the widow

the only things left in the cupboard were
…….salt and baking soda

I love you so I’ll eat you up,

……. someone said to the mother when she was
…--…. little & the stranger stuck her nose
into the girl’s neck and laughed

she came out of my body
the mother still remembers her first sight of her daughter
……. yanked out with a gasp that felt like
a fist in the belly
……--. gleaming, red as a candied apple,
…….-- bloody as a ……. steak

she cried
……. with the children when they had to eat
the kittens ……. the soup lasted a week

Annabeth tried to hide some bones in a shoebox
in the coat closet, ring of dried violets, black scarf

we can have the memorial later, her mother told her,
right now we have to eat

the days were shorter and shorter
……. they had eaten the candles
some of the children had diarrhea for days

she would save her daughter’s hair,
……--------. she told herself
she would keep it in a locket for next time

in the end there was
……. very little difference
……. between sleeping
…---…. and waking

the children were too
…….---tired to move……. they wet the bed

she began to pray ……. they would
……---. not wake up

even though they didn’t speak
…….--- their eyes ……. blank suffering ……. made
…….--- her leave the room

afterwards
……. her mother found a spot next to
……. Wendy’s bed where
……. Wendy had started to
……----. eat the wall

……. she did not ask the children to do this
only she ate them ……. afterwards she knew
…….---- her daughter was safe
……----. she would never
…------…. be alone

……. she wanted to
remember their names
……. carved them into the
……-----. frame around her
……. mirror

how could anyone say she hadn’t done
……---------. her best?

if she were gone ……. who would take care
…-------…. of her babies?

in the spring
……. she was left
…….------ with only two

they ran from her
……. and disappeared into the forest
as soon as the snow melted

she never ……. saw them again
……---. she misses those ones the most

……. she knew they would
…----…. tell tales

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Whee! I did the reading at Ear Inn and it was so fantastic! I felt a little outclassed by the other poets, especially Juliet Patterson. She writes the kind of stuff where every word counts and nothing is "talky" or prosey. I hope in five years I can write as well as her. All her language and images were fresh! So I got her book Truant Lover. You must buy, as well.

And I got to meet Kate Greenstreet! Whose blog I've been reading for a while, although I've never linked to it until now. There you go, right at the bottom in the place of honor next to Todd Colby. I did manage to finagle her a bit, so she might interview me for her series on first books. Jenn Tynes was in her series!

I got some pics of my reading outfit. I love the fake hair, and yet it is so very fake and looks rather raggedy at times. I guess people managed to look beyond it -- or just stared at until their eyeballs were numb.

I sold six books. Amazing! Amazing. And almost accidentally stole some back. They were just sitting on a table! so I thought someone had just been looking at them and put them back in my bag. This unwise move resulted in me being chased down the street after I left the bar. "Excuse me, but did you steal the books you just sold me?" Uh. Well. That would be yes.

If you couldn't make it today, there's next Friday night! In Long Island City. At the Women's Studio Center. Details to come.
Based on a true story. REally. And not about cannibals, either.

Genesis

born dead from a dead mother
I crawled out from the still pulsing purple
womb and screamed before anyone could
touch me

I had words then
a few choice curses for God, but the doctor
pretended not to hear and the nurses all
turned their backs, their hands over
their ears

I crawled on the sticky concrete floor
between skittering legs while they worked
on my mother, tried to start her up again
with jumper cables cinched to her small machine

I, forgotten violet ghost, rose up and visited
my grandfather, the one who was
dead, he nursed me on his sagging breasts with
their white fur stink of cigars and pigs,
he held my tiny little ghost hand, caressed the
knuckles with his thumb like grandfathers do,

kissed me here above my left ear, a place
that still stings in winter like lemon juice
in the eye, and sent me back to the sour bed
of my mother, she was patched with
electrical tape & red thumbtacks

and when the nurse
lifted my mother’s hand and set it on my
powdered pink back as if she were setting
the table for an unwelcome guest,
I almost felt
my mother’s
heart beat, almost felt her breath
cross my forehead




and a bird collage
or perhaps, bird college, where birds learn to sing and bang into windows

Friday, November 03, 2006

Just a draft thing. More poems related to cannibals.

Gretel Speaks

if there’s anything that misery
has taught me it’s to ignore the singing
needlewoman in the streets, follow
your starving brother in his too big
lederhosen through the forest of forks,
knives and mice

and look for the white cat, the white
pigeon, the white duck, even though
some animals are only sunlight on the roof,
or a lie to fool your stepmother,

because one of them will take you
across a river too wide and deep
for your spindly breaking ankles
away from the cries of the burning
woman you left in the stove
one of them will take you home