Saints & Cannibals
Saints & Cannibals has the continuity, texture and heart of a great novel. The words here are made out of real human cells, splitting and alive. Hamm writes poems that are simultaneously powerful and delicate, reticent and deeply moving.
The pungent scent of horses, corn, straw, fur, smoke and meat take their place at the table of the reader's memory in Christine Hamm's collection, Saints & Cannibals. The narrator inhabits the minds and bodies of Enid and Claire, Hansel and Gretel, Joan of Arc, siblings, mothers and babies, and it's hard to tell at times who are the saints and who are the cannibals. Animals abound, some with mystical powers, My cat purrs and spits into my eye. She has / gathered tigers around me. Hamm explores the boundaries of the body in exquisite detail; puberty, cancer, eating disorders, and the lure and horrors of modern medicine escalate into fertility rites, witches, and the heartbreaking loss of childhood. These poems do not dally in Victorian daydreams or ruffled pinafores. They are feral. They shriek and bite and get under your skin. I could die from you the narrator warns us in "Muscular Wrist," and she tells the truth.
82 pages, $14.95
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