Monday, July 29, 2013

Interruptions In Glass - Tracy Hamon

Today's book of poetry:  Interruptions In Glass.  Tracy Hamon.  Coteau Books.  Regina, Saskatchewan.  2010.

Tracy Hamon's first book This Is Not Eden was a finalist for two Saskatchewan Book Awards, Hamon won the City of Regina Award in 2005 for portions of this book, Interruptions In Glass.

Awards are nice but have little meaning until you read her poems and see that Hamon is that real rarity, an utterly fearless voice.  These poems cackle with unbridled wit and intelligence while distilling language to its lovely poetic essence.  In short, Tracy Hamon has all the tools of the trade and employs them with the excitement of youth, filters them through a wise old head.

Things I Think about while Reading Robert Bly

How the clouds like to dance, wave
tight little asses into the half-moon's face.

How my hands moves to a pulse
pockets the inside of his soft cotton pants.

How a Miles Davis chord gasps
low over each breast like a moan.

How I close my eyes, let my finger
fall to his mouth, over his lips.

How I let my mind's palm brush
the brome of his beard.

How I thumb his chest,
steal lint from his belly.

How his heat carries me
hardwired into the night.


Hamon both races down that hill hammering out staccato pearls and lolls into the pasture, her wanton sexuality sauntering with confidence.  These are grown up poems.

Even in March it Rains

sometimes the whole night, a slow grief,
the sound like feet on the roof and I
am reminded of the time you asked me
to dance for you, and how later you let me
tango on top, and what I remember most is how
the sweat eased out of each pore of your body.

How you held on to me, as if you might never
be this consumed again, and even when my gold
chain waltzed into your mouth, an imitation
of your entry into me, you absorbed that too.
And tonight this memory drums in frustrations,
drops pounding on damp shingles, sudden disaster
that won't stop after I hear of your passing.


Hamon shows admirable restraint in these poems, she trusts in the intelligence of her reader enough that she leaves at the right moment, returns with strength when needed.  I was completely hooked after reading the first poem of this collection, hooked and filled with both excitement and dread.  What if the rest of the book wasn't as good...

In the Absence of Conversation I

Eat rice.

Engrave your name on a grain of rice.  Tiny.  So small no
one will see it.  Wear it around your neck.  Engrave your
name of thousands of grains of rice.  Save them like
memories, for years.  Throw them as confetti into the
face of the one who has left you.


Absolutely nothing to worry about.  I was hooked from the first poem and Hamon never steps off the gas.  Interruptions In Glass is fiercely smart, uber-hip and clean as glass.  This is poetry that makes no apologies, nor should it, for Tracy Hamon's thoroughly modern voice.

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