I. The barista calls me ma’am because I am makeupless—the pink of my Polish skin and the South’s sun spots pocking my cheeks— and my wide hips are in yoga pants on a Wednesday, mid-morning. I easily ask about milk alternatives because I have learned the language of passing for calm and unconcerned with guns. […]Read more "Atlas As Woman"
She keeps asking why I’ve come here— what spirit called me deeper or what bet I’d lost: the land baron and breathing wet and full with pine. He keeps naming me baby— I cannot be angry with a holy jaw. The hawk guards the tongue, the mouth— I watch the feathers fall […]Read more "Teaching in Pembroke, North Carolina"
Sometimes we say, “This tragedy, it happened far away. I don’t know what to do. I’m concerned but I’m just dangling in space.” A poem can lead you through that, and it is made of action because you’re giving your whole life to it in that moment. –Juan Felipe Herrera Tell them you are not […]Read more "THE DAY AFTER or FIGURING OUT HOW TO TALK TO MY STUDENTS ABOUT THE UCC SHOOTING"
My skirt is penciled— my hair pinned back. She is 17 and 18 and 19, and I am pretending I know what to teach her. She marks her sentences breathlessly— doesn’t remember the comma rules. I forget she can see my punctuated skull—the otherwise naked space between the hairline and the ear. I hear her […]Read more "My Student Stares at my Semicolon Tattoo"
image credit: Gabriel Max Starner see the original photo of Hannah hear Hannah read below: —After Gabriel Starner, Heather Hayden, & Max Anderson I. I wear the long shirt that slides off the shoulders—the one that covers the core: a second skin, unconstructed. The one I feel most naked in. II. Tell me how to […]Read more "SOMEONE ELSE MADE YOU EXIST"
We left behind the cactus and the quiet moss already echoing in the early morning We are sailing back into war into the flags I watched my grandfather treasure into the closing courts the righteous rage When you and I met we said in […]Read more "On Moving Back South"
“If I could stir I could break a tree— I could break you.” —H.D.’s “Garden” Once I thought there were two kinds of Southern women the ones who stay and the ones who leave I thought it was a choice and an easy one that any body could plough through the humidity could scrape a […]Read more "Crossroads"
After Rebecca Lindenberg Hannah Baggott is remembering when Facebook was all state of being and where you are. Hannah Baggott is making lamb stew, but will never ask you to dinner. Is out to coffee, but isn’t telling you where. Hannah Baggott I remember when is disappeared. Hannah Baggott My name is becoming a curse. […]Read more "STATUS UPDATE"
Hugo and I will say we’re teaching you to write like us: he’ll tell you to lock up your chorus girls in a silo. He’ll say don’t listen if you don’t want to. I’ll tell you this: Maybe hell isn’t so hot. Maybe Sappho meant for us to find her fragments—all that desire too much […]Read more "To My Poetry Students"