Friday, December 7, 2012


( Fence Books, 2012 )


That's me: the woman sitting

in her house among

many light excesses.

This is winter.

This is a heap of lacking

and the mind's trash

becoming the need

for many fabric protections,

in a way that quilts alone

could never be. I climbed up

on the bed to see you,

and the light from the ceiling

and the dresser lit your face

like an apple orchard on the day

a farmer's favorite horse

rose from the dead.


                                                                     — After Catullus

My house disgusted me, so I slept in a tent.

My tent disgusted me, so I slept in the grass. The grass disgusted me,

so I slept in my body, which I strung like a hammock from two ropes.

My body disgusted me, so I carved myself out of it.

My use of knives disgusted me because it was an act of violence.

My weakness disgusted me because "Hannah" means "hammer."

The meaning of my name disgusted me because I'd rather be known

as beautiful. My vanity disgusted me because I am a scholar.

My scholarship disgusted me because knowledge is empty.

My emptiness disgusted me because I wanted to be whole.

My wholeness would have disgusted me because to be whole

is to be smug. Still, I tried to understand wholeness

as the inclusiveness of all activities.: I walked out into the yard,

trying to vomit and drink milk simultaneously. I tried to sleep

while smoking a cigar. I have enough regrets to crack all the plumbing.

I'm whole only in that I've built my person from every thought I've ever loved.


Because it had grown warmer in the night

I realized that while I was sleeping

your anger towards me

must have lessened.

Letters to my friends begin: "Writing you here,

among the poinsettias. . ."

and then I drop my pen

and think about how, at this moment,

my mother and her God are alone in a room,

and he is comforting her.


Your Invitation To A Modest Breakfast
(Fence Books 2012)