157.1: Gillian Hamel:: [death I cause…] & [you are the sea…] & [the cold comes for her…] 157

This week, Gillian Hamel explores the limits of anger and metaphor. In three untitled selections, Hamel marks her elaborations and her erasures using the typography of revision: full stops, caesuras, abrupt line breaks, strike throughs. Such typography tracks the emergence of the author's several selves: a self who suffers the living death of rush hour traffic, the self who no longer believes the sea can be used as metaphor. Hamel's particular accomplishment is this poetics of selving, of re-writing as a gesture of (hopeful? desperate?) recreation. "i'd better say sorry to grass," one of these selves admits in ["death i cause..."]. "an easy shape pushing upward." This acknowledgment carries with it a complex bundle of emotions, ranging from coy to irritated. But the apology (which never comes) also foregrounds the speaker's difference from the grass and its easy shape. For these poems are anything but the easy shape of a blade: reworked and rewritten, they are registers of the limits and doubts that make becoming possible. The self, beautifully articulated as a "re-recording" of moving hands, is both mark and gesture, both writing and movement. These poems demand that we mark the sediments of our movement, that we record the shirt buttons, grass, hair, the injured mouth, even that wetness felt in Tokyo. Only through such language will we discover the chrysalis of who (or rather what) we are. Ryan Winet
( )

death I cause       I result in
breaking heads along the highway. burial
as it fits between transit. buttons make time stop
and shirt buttons make time not work for me
faulting clothes to shame physics. time as a round thing
I fumble to break           our paradox meant to save
to leave machines. each dream ends on a hill.
each leaving the stadium           night indoors      a day and things growing
          past the margins near the realities where I conclude.
I’d better say sorry among grass. an easy shape pushing upward.
re-recording the sound of my own hands.

( )

you are the sea. I’ve said this.

I came to fix the you to him, to fix him down, the finer parts of the arm. the him
so mechanic. he became for me and hid—I tore—the arm I took. my mouth healed.
I clamored and crushed, hid in the bathroom, hid myself disrobed—
we grow further and wild. our hair will save us. will string us back together.

at the edge of the sea, I uncover. you await away, aloft.

another him comes for me—I don’t. he’s all displaced,
the she apart from I unaware. I would have saved him.

I would be for you, where anything is flat and discerning,
fingers fixing each other to wind or nothing, to no holds to go to,
where I can’t see structures, only people

( )

the cold comes for her, the water on land and the water
in the rain. half of me was wet in tokyo. the half
run hot. on the sides, one shoe filled up with water.
the you took the north with him but she
is still there for me.

from the cracks in the living, I spread, losing directions
but a map replaces. I understand cities now. I’ve seen the open fields
swallowing themselves and known their faces from the plane.
there is where I knew myself. not here. here the land
will never take me under.