Friday, September 28, 2007

Art Instead of Poetry

And why not?

Here's two pieces I made in photo shop using the same new painting.



Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm doing a reading with my lovely friend Cheryl Burke Tuesday (9/25) at Bluestockings bookstore on the Lower East Side (of Manhattan). I'll be reading my poetry -duh-- and Cheryl will be reading an excerpt from her fantastic memoir or her poetry -- both are great. The open mike starts at 7 and the reading will commence at 7:30. More about me:
www.christinehamm.org

Here's some directions:

Bluestockings is located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington - which means that we are 1 block south of Houston and 1st Avenue.

By train: We are 1 block south of the F train's 2nd Avenue stop and just 5 blocks from the JMZ-line's Essex / Delancey Street stop.

By car: If you take the Houston exit off of the FDR, then turn left onto Essex (aka Avenue A), then right on Rivington, and finally right on Allen, you will be very, very close.

You can also try their website: www.bluestockings.com.


______

And hey, also -- I'm doing a reading at the main library in Queens in December and they are PAYING me $150!!

I can't tell you how amazing that is. Oh, you're all poets, so you know how amazing it is. I'm going to have to find some "family friendly" poems for the reading, though!
This is a holiday card I've created:





I think the text can be interpreted in many ways. Perhaps God gets drunk on X-mas? Perhaps the man in the apartment above is lonely and hates the holidays... Who's to say?


Still very ill. I believe I'm getting worse. Passing out during my reading tomorrow would at least be memorable for the audience...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Excavate


In some parts of the world right now,
it is night, and where it is night,
women are going underground

women dig
women lay flat on their faces in pits
women find tunnels and make tunnels and
burrow

women avoid stiff tree roots
women wear hard and ugly yellow hats
women carry their tools over their shoulders
and in their pockets

women crawl down into wet caves
with ropes around their waists
women take off their heavy gloves
to brush at the dirt to delicately peel
the years away from the teeth from eye sockets
women whisk the dull gold rings the bracelets
with toothbrushes

women gently straighten
the rotten calico skirts
women tap at the sodden brown femurs
until they shift until they loosen from the wall

women slip tentative dirty fingers
under the damp petticoats
under the ripped slips
and the moldy underclothes and women
lift away the smeared envelopes
the soggy letters the words spilling
like glistening persimmon seeds
into underground puddles

women reach between the legs of the dead
women find old tongues new ways to fit
a language heavy and stained still
smelling of horse dung and honey



____________

So I’ve been reading a lot of Adrienne Rich, and I have my “fight the power” baseball cap on (backwards). Is this poem too clich├ęd? Have you heard it all before?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I've got some new art cards for my etsy shop. I call them "despairing notes". Suitable for any emo chick or guy.










You can see the rest at my flickr account.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Understanding Your Soul


What kind of soul would you make
with white chalk on sky-blue paper?
It is easy to collect samples
of the soul on paper, on sheets of blue
or gray. What kind of soul
would you make with gray chalk on light gray paper?

Once you have assembled your figures,
you may circle the soul
that is most clearly your own.
Some people like to cut
pictures of their souls from magazines
and paste them on the ceiling.

Some souls may want to talk
to you. Their voices are high-pitched
and quiet, difficult to understand.
These souls can be easily fit
into glass jars with breathable lids.

You may find your own soul
strangely clinging to certain things:
the high-flown tails of horses,
your mother’s hair at breakfast,
the texture of mint leaves in your mouth.
_________________________________

Comments welcome, if you're feeling "soulful".
I'm doing a reading with my lovely friend Cheryl Burke next Tuesday at Bluestockings bookstore on the Lower East Side (of Manhattan). I'll be reading my poetry -duh-- and Cheryl will be reading an excerpt from her fantastic memoir or her poetry -- both are great. The open mike starts at 7 and the reading will commence at 7:30.

Here's some directions:

Bluestockings is located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington - which means that we are 1 block south of Houston and 1st Avenue.

By train: We are 1 block south of the F train's 2nd Avenue stop and just 5 blocks from the JMZ-line's Essex / Delancey Street stop.

By car: If you take the Houston exit off of the FDR, then turn left onto Essex (aka Avenue A), then right on Rivington, and finally right on Allen, you will be very, very close.

You can also try their website: www.bluestockings.com.

Monday, September 17, 2007

(and another postcard I made)



What Happens If

What happens if the blue test tube cracks in her fist? Is she wearing a narrow red skirt under her lab coat? Can they run barefoot? Will she lose her glasses, or will they dangle from one ear? How many languages can she whisper in? Will the explosion fling her to the ceiling, and will she find the violet crystal there? Will her braids come loose?

Will she lose her eyelashes in the bright tumble of the Bunsen burner? Will the voodoo doll ever be discovered behind the table of the elements? Will the radioactive grass overcome them? Will she recognize the complex equations written in chalk across her back? Will she understand the escape route, the simple chart of red arrows, taped to the back of the cloak room door?
blonde maria



acrylic and pen on paper, some digital

Sunday, September 09, 2007



The Metaphor's Lament

I have held a heart close to my nose.  It smelled of cold and fungicide.  So tough, my scapel slipped instead of slicing: I screamed like a girl in disgust and frustration.  Inside it had holes and more rot.  It was slippery, heavy -- I became dizzy.  I saw the toads splayed and skinned, pinned to the wall, beckoning to me, the red pin heads bobbing.  I wiped my palms on my blouse, my back pack, the paper towels.  My lab partner refused to look at me, spent the whole class in the corner with his girlfriend, trying to wend his fingers through the slit in her stone-washed skirt.

--------

I'm not sure about that first line -- I keep going back between "I have held" and "I held".

Friday, September 07, 2007

First week of classes is over! I survived. My classes seem great this semester -- Dickinson and Whitman, Gay and Lesbian Lit, and an independent study of Bishop. I am most looking forward to Bishop; every week, I get to do a close reading of three poems and discuss them with a Bishop scholar. Whee!

Teaching is going to be interesting -- my class is very small -- about ten.

Here's a draft of a poem:

Away

the creek tastes
like
I thought it would
bitter,
wild

water quiet, barely
a sound
full of pebbles, mica flickers

flies gather in my shoes

mosquitoes enter
the crack of my armpit

my toes underwater
pale as soggy worms

a flutter
a thrush
disarranged
feathered musical
chatter

answering
chittering
whispering
a question over and over

I frighten
them all with my large yellow
teeth

the robin above
kicks and flicks further
away

light
creeps
soft as
honey soft as
sleeping bears

gather, gather
the sparrows call
to each other

like children
whispering about a dog
Is she friendly?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Today I started feeling better. I had moments of feeling well, in between the three hours naps. I think my fever is mostly gone.

Here's a poem:

Breath in Russian Is


we had practiced every kind of sadness for so long
that the Russians were glad
to see us off at the bus station, though we
had brought tampons and promised
to mail their letters

I smuggled flags and small books
in my underwear but the border guards
in their indifference
didn’t even check my backpack

you slept all the way
back to Finland
rubles tucked in your socks
your breath making faint clouds
on the window glass
that disappeared, appeared
like the slow beat of a failing heart