Three Poems by Janet Hamill

BOMB 14 Winter 1986
014 Winter 1986

MORNING MEDITATION

A.

Still summer morning
with a god’s golden eye
rising out of the sea
silk undulating curtains
over the window
I awake. refreshed
the taste of sleep
in my mouth
salt spraying my tongue
in the dark green harbor
where dolphins
swam through the night
like wet petals
of moonlight

 

B.

Abandoned by the night
the knives of violent sun
stab at my eyes
split open
like wounds
on a windowsill
a pair of bloody pomegranates
all is dizzy
swollen. nauseous
fluttering in tatters
the curtain’s
torn aside
and wild-eyed
music from the mountains
rings in my ears

​Giorgio de Chirico Rose tower BOMB 14

Giorgio de Chirico, The Rose Tower, 1913, 29½ × 39½ inches.

THE DEPARTURE OF WE ARGONAUTS

Hear me. you who tore at the warm red meat
on the altar of embarkations. you who
witnessed the fire with its smoke-black wings
winding their way towards heaven. you who
drank and danced on the beach
now the dawn breathes life into our canvas
propitious winds crown the sea
with long white manes. and lift the clouds
from the sky. a blue of origins
hear me. you who were told in a dream
to make this voyage, now the time has come
to fix the oars and set sail for unknown waters
leaving the noises of the land far behind

 

THE RED TOWER

In a sea I lived. in solitude. and it bore me up
on a wave. over the marketplace. pacing
like an injured animal. it bore me up
over the land of sleep and poison flies
a tower rising through the clouds of maleficence
my tongue. in flames. my fountain. overflowing
in the cold night air. while strong winds blew
along the battlements

naked stars. millions and millions of miles away
on the open heights. I could feel their light
entering my skin

above the din of buzzing flies. I rose
above the parasites and bloodsuckers
who had drained me of my will
swallowing fire. I climbed up to my wilderness
with a flight of frozen songbirds in my heart

Autumn Melancholy by Janet Hamill
​Giorgio de Chirico Infinite 001 BOMB 14
Related
Places of Dis-Ease: Chris Martin Interviewed by Hannah Emerson
Things To Do In Hell by Chris Martin

Two poets in conversation about the underworld, kissing life, and neurodivergence.

Billy-Ray Belcourt by Layli Long Soldier
Billy Ray Cover 2

As an Indigenous poet, Belcourt is creating space for himself and his community in “a world we did not want, a world that we did not build for ourselves.”

Soliloquy by Vijay Seshadri
That was Now, This is Then

All the experts say I’m sane.
Some even say I might acquire insight someday.

Originally published in

BOMB 14, Winter 1986

Roy Lichtenstein, Jackie Winsor, art by Sarah Charlesworth, Francesco Clemente, and more.

Read the issue
014 Winter 1986