Jane Eaton Hamilton

"At the bottom of the box is hope." – Ellis Avery.

Category: Steam-Cleaning Love

Berkeley Fire

Here is a poem from my second collection, Steam-Cleaning Love:

Berkely Fire

for Corbin

 

I know you are reading this poem

I said to Liz I want to understand the trees

I was speaking of eucalyptus in particular

When I met you I said Hello

You said Maybe it will sound ridiculous

but I pray for rain every day here

 

On the television I saw a woman

shaking hard

I watched her forearms

how she tried to hold herself together

by pressing her elbows on her knees

her face in her hands

Everything else was a still photograph

the still hush of smoke

 

You are reading this poem

You are rolling a cigarette, or Sharon is

putting flame against your lips

I meant to ask the names of what grows

I said The vegetation is so different

You said I love thunderstorms

 

Once I passed a burning house

I was safe but I was scared anyway

I didn’t understand

how loud, how hot, how big

Later a woman interviewed

standing in the rubble said

It’s like being dead then coming back

I’m scared now, I said

You are reading this poem in Berkeley

You said Is it raining?

 

You can order Steam-Cleaning Love through Brick Books here.

 

Full Grown Batterers

JEHnudeD

Jane Eaton Hamilton sketch 2014

Of all the topics I’ve had at my fingertips, perhaps none has been as difficult for me to write personally about as being battered over 18 years.  I remain highly embarrassed that I went through this; I ought to hand in my feminist credentials and have them retroactively scrubbed.  I ought to hand in my lezzie activisit credentials while I’m at it.

Yes, I’m a feminist.  Yes, I’m an activist.  Yes, I was battered.  Yes, I stayed.

Yes, I accepted a certain base-line of violence into my marriage and would have gone on staying the rest of my life.  That’s the dumb truth of it.  I adored her; I would have stayed with her forever.

Never Say I Didn’t Bring You Flowers

 

 

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