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I am featuring a poet that I have never heard of before. After reading his poems, I knew I had to introduce others to his poetry. I have to say; I am enjoying reading these biographies and poetry. The poets have something in their minds and hearts and need to express it, and poetry is an amazing way to express yourself. Sit back and enjoy the poetry of Forrest Hamer.
Forrest Hamer (born in 1956) is a poet, psychologist, candidate psychoanalyst, and a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. He was educated at Yale and Berkeley. He is the author of Call & Response (Alice James, 1995), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award, and Middle Ear (The Roundhouse Press, 2000), a finalist for the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association Award.
His work has appeared in many journals including the Beloit Poetry Journal, Callaloo, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, Tri Quarterly, ZYZZYVA, Berkeley Poetry Review, Cream City Review, Drumming Between Us, Equinox, Kenyon Review, Negative Capability. Hamer’s work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry, Poet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life, The Geography of Home: California’s Poetry of Place, and Word of Mouth: An Anthology of Gay American Poetry.
This air is flooded with her. I am a boy again, and my mother
and I lie on wet grass, laughing. She startles, turns to
marigolds at my side, saying beautiful, and I can see the red
there is in them.
When she would fall into her thoughts, we’d look for what
distracted her from us.
My mother’s gone again as suddenly as ever and, seven months
after the funeral, I go dancing. I am becoming grateful.
Breathing, thinking, marigolds.
It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We’d been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew
Mississippi to be more dangerous than usual.
Dark lay hanging from the trees the way moss did,
and when it moaned light against the windows
that night, my father pulled off the road to sleep.
that usually woke me from rest afraid of monsters
kept my father awake that night, too,
and I lay in the quiet noticing him listen, learning
that he might not be able always to protect us
from everything and the creatures besides;
perhaps not even from the fury suddenly loud
through my body about his trip from Texas
to settle us home before he would go away
to a place no place in the world
he named Viet Nam. A boy needs a father
with him, I kept thinking, fixed against noise
from the dark.
A Dull Sound, Varying Now and Again
And then we began eating corn starch,
chalk chewed wet into sirup. We pilfered
Argo boxes stored away to stiffen
my white dress shirt, and my cousin
and I played or watched TV, no longer annoyed
by the din of never cooling afternoons.
On the way home from church one fifth Sunday,
shirt outside my pants, my tie clipped on
its wrinkling collar, I found a new small can of snuff,
packed a chunk inside my cheek, and tripped
from the musky sting making my head ache,
giving me shivers knowing my aunt hid cigarettes
in the drawer under her slips,
that drawer the middle one on the left.
I am featuring a poet that I have never heard of before.
After reading his poems, I knew I had to introduce others to his poetry.
I have to say; I am enjoying reading these biographies and poetry. The poets have something in their minds and hearts and need to express it, and poetry is an amazing way to express yourself. Sit back and enjoy the poetry of Forrest Hamer.