Sam Hamill Poem – To My Muse

Sam Hamill reads from his new chapbook, Border Songs, Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 at Spring Street Center, 15th & Spring in Seattle, a block south of Union. Details here. His friend and collaborator Ian Boyden will display one of the most remarkable books ever created, Habitations, which features several pages that are original paintings with Sam’s poetry laser-etched on the pages. The reading is made possible in part through a grant from SICA, the Subud International Cultural Association.

To My Muse

I admit it. I’ve grown
less fond of poetry
as I’ve grown old.
What once seemed bold
is commonplace, a howl,
a whisper, a groan.

I’m no longer dazzled
by philologists
arguing the subtleties
of antiquities. I’m baffled
by poets who succeed.

What’s more, I never
really trusted
the trusty metaphor,
the smiling simile
grinning back at me
from the work-shopped page
of tomorrow’s star.

I like my language
to be clear
as any summer day,
no affects to get in the way
when you, My Dear,
come calling.
Meanwhile,

I am here, waiting
in the twilit regions
of the lizard brain, listening
like a bride for that
first breathy whisper,
uncertain of whether you
are an angel or a demon.

About Splabman

Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson: Founded: SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival Wrote: American Sentences (2015), A Time Before Slaughter (2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme Editions, Brazil, 2013). His 2015 interview with José Kozer was published in 2016 (Ranchos Press) as Tiovivo Tres Amigos. Interviewed: Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, Diane di Prima, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Brenda Hillman, among others and is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, including the festival, a MOOC (Innovative Cascadia Poetry), interviews with Cascadia poets indigenous elders and activists, and the anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia. Paul is co-editor of that anthology as well as 56 Days of August the poetry postcard anthology and writes an American Sentence daily. *MOOC = Massive Open Online Course
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