Eaton Hamilton

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions.” – Lillian Hellman

Crack, a poem


I hit a boy with a gimp leg. He was walking by. He had algebra books in his arms. I wanted to pulverize him. I hit him until he was down on the tarmac then I jumped on him until I heard a bone crack in his leg. It might have been his good leg, I don’t know. This took about five minutes. There was blood coming out of his nose. Finally he passed out so I stopped.

I knew a girl who had never been hit.

She went around like that.



The break-up poem. Because, you know, break-ups.


Oh mud lover, oh dirt, oh sewage,

I’ve been wearing April like galoshes,

Stomping your ditch

in a swill of brown water,

nursing your weeds like tits.


Well, that’s over, it’s May tomorrow—

no more quicksand for me.

Is this love, this ooze and stain?

Your leeches ride my elbows.

Your scum exhales me.


Great exhaust, the monoxide

you call admirable

bubbles up from a low extreme,

up from the muck, up from the wallow,

hissing like a let-go fart.


There’s a stink, I’m raw from

this virtue, this clean clean clean rape.

Finger of smiles and lies,

I am on to you. Fecal soup,

your brown scrubbing


has a perfectly pious air.

Immaculate of the marsh,

sump pump,

diamond in a quagmire,

how to you rise and rise and rise


in your own estimation?

The trick of caress, say, a masturbation

toxic to others.

Never mind. Up you go, away, away,

dirty incandescence through the sun.


First appeared in Steam-Cleaning Love, Brick Books

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