Jane Eaton Hamilton

"It was her mouth that had a hand over it, not her eyes." -Jane Eaton Hamilton

Tag: relationships

“Weekend:” have a great one, people

It’s great to get thoughtful and lengthy reviews of one’s work. Thanks to Casey!

“There’s a lot to revel in in Weekend, just purely from a representation angle. When was the last time you read a queer novel about people in middle age, let alone a novel that has extended sex scenes featuring queer people in their 40s and 50s? Older queers getting it on feels revolutionary in and of itself, but Hamilton also features a character who is disabled and black (Ajax has a heart condition and grew up in the Bahamas), a trans masculine character who uses they pronouns (Logan), a masculine-presenting polyamorous character who uses she pronouns (Elliot), and a kinky couple (Logan and Ajax). None of this feels forced or for the sake of diversity itself, but simply a portrayal of some real people with various intersecting identities.

“As you’re probably guessing, this is a highly character and relationship driven novel. You know at the beginning that shit of many kinds is going to hit the fan for both couples. Hamilton takes you there slowly while letting you get to know all the characters, their dynamics, and histories. The only other work I can think of that has so much authentic dyke processing in it is Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For. Logan, Ajax, Joe, and Elliot talk about their gender and sexual identities (I found Ajax’s ruminations about her lesbian identity in the face of Logan’s in-flux gender identity particularly fascinating), sex, feelings, their exes, illness, and relationship practicalities.”  -Casey, the Canadian lesbrarian

Here is the rest of her review:

Viscerally Real Queers, Dyke Processing, Kink, and Disability in Jane Eaton Hamilton’s novel WEEKEND

Bear Bergman–and yes, it’s nearly Valentine’s Day

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I rarely post anything that’s personal, but all day I had this column by the wise and clear and sensical writer Bear Bergman up on my “to-read” list, and I finally read it, and it seems to hit so many nails on so many heads that I thought you might want to read this “Dear Bear” column too, since rarely is there a time in relationships when incomes are exactly on par. Which may mean you think of these contentious matters, too.

And because it’s coming up Valentine’s Day, a day where we can all try to learn to love better.

Bear Bergman on Bitch Media

 

 

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

 

Photograph

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fragment: Vincent Van Gogh; photo: Jane Eaton Hamilton, 2015 Norton Simon Museum

 

Photograph

My wife painted a fresco on one wall of our living room and now my wife needs surgery on her hands. Those two things are not related. Her nerves were not damaged by plaster and pigment work; her problem, the doctor says, is intrinsic, a degenerative disorder that robs her of tactile sense and causes her pain.

My wife’s name is Mary. You have probably seen her signature on canvasses but if you haven’t it doesn’t matter. I wish no one did; I wish my wife had never sold a painting, not one painting.

There are words I wish I had never heard, too: chartreuse, I wish I had never heard the word chartreuse. Turquoise is another one. That word turquoise goes right inside me; that world turquoise is a bad word. Vermilion. Is there any other word in the English language that goes to work on a man the way vermilion does?

The world is filled with unpredictability. Things wait around corners; words lie in wait around corners. Once I was a boy and I lived with a mother and a father and all that waited around corners for me was love; I wasn’t surprised for the first time until I was eleven and came around one corner too many and there was my mother and there was a stranger and kissing.

I am a man who appreciates a good kiss. I like a good kiss as well as the next man. What man wouldn’t appreciate a kiss? An excellent kiss can make a man overlook corners and words like chartreuse. This is just the way of things. In this world a wife and a kiss and a sunset make a fellow stop. They make a fellow stop in his tracks just outside some doorway and they make his eyelids widen.

Let us say the sunset seen through the window was chartreuse.

Let us say my wife Mary was kissing someone else.

Let us say her damaged hands were against the breasts of an artist named Diane.

This is the truth.

The truth is two women were kissing and Diane’s shirt was undone and her breasts were bare. My wife’s hands fit Diane’s breasts perfectly; I saw how well they fit. They fit so well an artist could have drawn the four as parts of one body.

One of Diane’s paintings is of a vermilion figure poised on the edge of a globe, bending over. My wife Mary’s fresco is turquoise.

This is just how it happens, a man turns one corner too many in his life and then it happens, that kiss, and he doesn’t know how to act or what to say or how to impart one color, the one he saw, black. He hits his chest with the flat of his hand over and over, he does that.

Here is a photograph: a man, a woman and a woman. Here is a sculpture: a man, a woman and a woman. Here is a story: a man, a woman and a woman. Here is a sunset and a fresco. Here is a painting by a woman named Diane. Here I am. Here is my wife, Diane.

In the photograph I age and age. Soon I am fifty. Soon I am eighty-four. Soon I am a hundred and two. I am lucky to be so old, such a very old man with a thin windpipe.

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