Jane Eaton Hamilton

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

Tag: Valentine’s Day

The Last Words for Valentine’s Day

 

If Literature’s “Complicated Men” Were on Tinder by Sarah Chevallier, yonder at McSweeney’s

Now I can die happy, and also in love with Sarah Chevallier.

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

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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

 

 

Love letters from your writing.

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Electric Literature put these out this morning.  Happy Valentine’s Day, writers, from your text.

Love Letters from your writing

An anti-Valentine poem for the un-lovelorn

Valentine’s Day

by Jane Eaton Hamilton

If it starts to eye you
like a cinnamon heart
stand very still
blend into the background
of your dull life, into
laundry, dishes, stacks of paperwork

do all you can do
to avoid notice
become the yellow wallpaper
become the water in the trap of the sink
become sugar

Whatever you do
don’t imagine the gaping
burgundy mouth
the lips, the teeth of love
don’t imagine butterflies
Whatever you do
don’t sigh

Don’t think of dulcet dinners out
classical by candlelight
Don’t imagine love’s long eyes
her laugh, chocolate
or the slip of talented fingers
across your cheek
soft up your thigh
orgasm

Turn away, turn away
from your need
Run swiftly through your town
cover your head with your arms
cry Help me!

If love still lifts you to its fleshy tongue
like a cinnamon heart
holds you to its palette melting
don’t go under its teeth as if you won’t shred
don’t slide down its esophagus like you won’t dissolve
don’t leak into its intestines as if love
were enough (even for this)

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