Jane Eaton Hamilton

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

Tag: breakups

Love Will (Still) Burst Into a Thousand Shapes

“…The next section of the collection following the one focused on artists is “Our Terrible Good Luck,” an apt oxymoron that encompasses the devastation that populates these poems on topics not often associated that kind of horror: motherhood and children. Oh boy, was this part of the collection hard for me. They’re just shattering to read: domestic abuse, the death of children, gun violence, mass murderers, the dark sides of motherhood, the physicality and sometimes grotesqueness of child birth. For me, they were painful and difficult to read, despite their being beautifully written. When I say devastating, this is what I mean:

In the month before they find your son’s body

downstream, you wake imagining

his fist clutching the spent elastic

of his pyjama bottoms, the pair with sailboats riding them

He’s swimming past your room toward milk and Cheerios

his cowlick alive on his small head, swimming

toward cartoons and baseballs, toward his skateboard

paddling his feet like flippers. You’re surprised

by how light he is, how his lips shimmer like water

how his eyes glow green as algae

He amazes you again and again, how he breathes

through water. Every morning you almost drown

fighting the undertow, the wild summer runoff

coughing into air exhausted, but your son is happy

He’s learning the language of gills and fins

of minnows and fry. That’s what he says

when you try to pull him to safety; he says he’s a stuntman

riding the waterfall down its awful lengths

to the log jam at the bottom pool

He’s cool to the touch; his beauty has you by the throat

He’s translucent, you can see his heart under

his young boy’s ribs, beating

as it once beat under the stretched skin of your belly

blue as airlessness, primed for vertical dive

HOLY FUCK, Jane Eaton Hamilton. I don’t remember the last time I read a poem so fucking sad and heartbreaking.” -Casey Stepaniuk

Wish You Were Here

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blind contour sketch: Jane Eaton Hamilton 2015

Wish You Were Here

Or I don’t. I can’t decide. Do I wish you were here, or am I glad that you aren’t here, or do I feel too little of anything, and if I do, does it matter since, really, it’s inescapable, we will all be dead in a few decades at most, and then, whether or not I wanted you here will really be moot. I miss you or perhaps I don’t miss you, and when I walk down into the metro and see fervently heterosexual lovers kissing, I think of you, or perhaps I don’t think of you and instead am thinking about a new camera I want. A young man shuffles cards. A homeless man sits with a slice of white bread hanging from his mouth. When I get off at my stop, a yellow lemon rolls down a gutter in front of red fruit-stand flaps. This makes me ache for something, and possibly what I ache for is you, but it might be lemonade.

-first appeared in Contemporary Verse II, in altered version

 

Immaculata: from Lemonhound

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sketch by Jane Eaton Hamilton, 2014

Always fun when old work sees new light. My poem ‘Immaculata’ from my Brick Books collection “Steam-Cleaning Love.”

Lemonhound

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