Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.

Tag: guns

We need to talk about Texas

Thoughts and prayers do nothing

I am not a fan of author Lionel Shriver’s grim and condescending attitude toward other writers, whom she dismisses for their concerns about appropriation, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend her masterpiece “We Need to Talk About Kevin” a novel told from the multiple perspectives of the family of a school murderer as the go-to read for understanding mass murder. (There was a movie, but it was ghastly.)

I was touched by the President and First Lady visiting the makeshift monument set up in Uvalde. I thought about what it would have been like if the person in charge had been the former guy, instead. Well, we know, don’t we, from the NRA convention this week where he appeared, saying nothing at all about the 19 kids who died, the teachers who were slaughtered, the many, many injured people (38 were shot), or the vast problem of gun ownership and the second amendment in the USA.

I don’t live in the US, but I used to. Did you know there’s no other country in the world that lets these kind of mass murders transpire? “The USA has had 2,032 school shootings since 1970.” Just by way of example, Canada has had two. Do I feel smug, safe, superior? Not at all, because we see mass murders here too, and conservative govts uniquely try to curtail gun restrictions in Canada. But, but … no right to bear arms exists, thank gawd.

I mourn the people killed in Buffalo, near where I grew up. I mourn the people killed in Uvalde. My heart goes out to loved ones. The revolting, cowardly (and racist?) behaviour of the police in Uvalde will never stop hurting. What parent can’t imagine themselves being harassed, tazed, handcuffed and prevented from trying to save your child?

Here are their names. Honour our babies. Say them aloud.

The victims:

Makenna Lee Elrod, 10

Layla Salazar, 11

Maranda Mathis, 11

Nevaeh Bravo, 10

Jose Manuel Flores, Jr, 10

Xavier Lopez, 10

Tess Marie Mata, 10

Rojelio Torres, 10

Eliahna Amyah Garcia, 9

Eliahna A Torres, 10

Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, 10

Jackie Cazares, 9

Uziyah Garcia

Jayce Carmelo Luevanos, 10

Maite Yuleana Rodriguez, 10

Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10

Amerie Jo Garza, 10

Alexandria Aniyah Rubio, 10

Alithia Ramirez, 10

Irma Garcia, 48

Eva Mireles, 44

Bloodline: for Diane Corkum 1955-1989

Excerpted from my collection, Body Rain.  In 1989, a few blocks from where I now sit, on Laurel Street in Vancouver, my friend Diane was shot through her sliding glass doors near Hallowe’en night, when everyone mistook the noise of the gunshot for fireworks.  Eventually (many years later) her ex’s brother was convicted of the crime.  This is a solemn poem for Hallowe’en, and also a cautionary poem during this week in which we consider male violence.



What we left unsaid is jabbering—

I haven’t enough ears.

The man who killed you,

who was he

with his bullets, Diane?


You loved me.

Perhaps it is the promise

of love I feel,

the redemption of arousal,

a giddy comprehension.

I was stupified, then,

you know I was,

pregnant, foggy as milk.


It is late, now, to understand.

Will you forgive me

my exile?

Saturday I stood on the shore

with daisies cascading from my fingers.

Diane, the ocean would not swallow them—

yellow was caught in her throat

like sorrow


Who knows this season

better than you?

Hunters rustle the undergrowth

in October.

In my yard the sumac

drops lit candles.


I would show you how to flee, Diane.




consider the pumpkin on the stooop,

the quick torture of its hide under my knife.


I have costumes in my closet

and we’ll go out like breath

this night, like perfect witch women

in our black hats. On broomsticks

our voices wake like bats.

Flow, flow,

darkest of hearts.



You wait outside the gate,

an apparition.

I take your shattered chest

against my own.

I heat you and melt you

with the force of the living,

with the love of the living

for living things.


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