February 20-26, 2006: Jane Cassady and M.A. Hamma

week of February 20-26, 2006

Jane Cassady and M.A Hamma

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Jane Cassady

Bio (auto)

Jane Cassady runs a weekly poetry reading in Syracuse, NY www.geocities.com/pillowfont She is a full-time poet and is therefore obsessed with envelopes She’s the author of four chapbooks, the most recent being Poems for the Author of Fargo Rock City from Turtle Ink Press She has appeared in The Comstock Review, Beyond the Valley of the Contemporary Poets, and other places.

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by Jane Cassady and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

An Embarrassment Of (for Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins’ album Rabbit Fur Coat)

Window seats of the world, unite An afternoon of gin
and intravenous chocolate cake It gets you in the
soul and in the underpants It isn’t spring
but water’s moving under snow

But We Don’t Destroy the Nests of Our Rivals

Poets are bowerbirds
in front of our parabolas of sticks
or festooned tree trunks
rearranging collections
of shells, seeds, blossoms, berries
fungus, even droppings
or trash strung up like lanterns and if one blossom falls
another is found, more perfect
We wait for someone to happen by
our heaps that sometimes match our feathers
then a call either sweet or startling
tails and wings in staunch formation
and if you are not interested
you will walk away
We will continue to amass the particulars We will always want you
to see us We will collect
the strange and shiniest things We will mainain our garlands.

(most emo poem ever)
(Note: we have a friend whose nickname is Jesus we’re not sitting around talking about drinking games
with The Jesus )
(Neither the original nor the one from the Big Lebowski )

Amy keeps ordering nine-dollar glasses of wine she says we’re celebrating:
To taking a tape
with a handwritten set list
out of my pocket
and handing it over To borrowing the song
John and Jesus were singing
while I was talking to someone else
about something else
To me and Jesus
either really good
or really bad
at Never Have I Ever Never have we ever
not taken the first drink
We talk about the packages
Josh will recieve at the radio station About how some of us, out of town
would appreciate a yenta report, weekly I get the news I need
from the Yenta Report
I complain about how
no matter how much a friend’s soul
has osmosed into mine
there’s no way to stop them from leaving No chase to the airport No loaded conversation
How your spouse is the only person
you can actually stop from leaving (Amy says I wasted mine She would’ve stayed anyway )

Lincoln, while no one was looking
strewed rose petals across the bar
drifting around the colored-glass candle cups Pretty sincere for the shoulder-bag set
and beautifully glowing The snow, though dreamy
has grown alarming Offered the guest room, John stays
The music here is perfect The kind of songs I know I should recognize
and a few I do The kind of songs
a few who aren’t here
could’ve listed off for us, easy Amy’s fingers in my hand
softened even more by wine and contentment
her sanguine lips are definitely compelling
but I hold off on the makeout
so we don’t gross out our friends
As the tab is settled
Jesus and I dance unselfconciously
a fifties movie interlude
maybe save the song
from its commercial-death fate
Outside we figure the logistics
of getting everyone home
but never really separate.

M.A Hamma

Bio (auto)

I am a 31 year old poet, living and writing in Studio City, CA I hold a BA from UCLA in Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing, as well as a MA from UC, Irvine in English I spend my free time in used bookstores and coffee shops developing neuroses and then writing about them

The following work is Copyright © 2006, and owned by mahamma@earthlink.net and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

A Feathered Sublime

Arrested symbols of flight:
they had been migrating southwest to
an island off the coast.

We had been, too
Two halves of a whole,
twin feet planted on a sloped deck,
here and there.

We heard them first:
Looking up, I imagined
cold air from upper elevations
rushing over feathered bodies.

Not you You paid your fare,
leapt beyond the finite world, 
conceptualized numbers beyond
the grasp of overworked

Your voice filled the salted air-
Don’t forget: I waited with you,
my face cracking in the winter wind,
until night fell, until day broke.

Until they came on fish-fed wings, 
and on sun-bleached feathers:
All birds the world over
came and landed there.

They landed, one after the other,
until you could not see the concrete
beneath red, reptilian feet.

They landed, one after the other,
until you could not see the concrete
beneath yellow, reptilian feet.

They filled all space and time:
claimed the backs of other birds, 
clawed for dominance.

A mountain of living flesh,
Layered blood, layered bile:
ad infinitum.

I could no longer see the sky
through your endless grounding
of squawking, shitting birds.

This was your Mona Lisa Our neighbors called the police
because they didn’t get you Their minds fenced in an outside world.

Still, the neighbors knew what I did not:
there would soon be
no space left for me
and there would soon be
no space left for you.