Leisure, Hannah, Does Not Agree with You (2)

By Hannah Gamble Hannah Gamble

After Catullus

My house disgusted me, so I slept in a tent.
My tent disgusted me, so I slept in the grass. The grass disgusted me,
so I slept in my body, which I strung like a hammock from two ropes.
My body disgusted me, so I carved myself out of it.
 
My use of knives disgusted me because it was an act of violence.
My weakness disgusted me because “Hannah” means “hammer.”
The meaning of my name disgusted me because I’d rather be known
as beautiful. My vanity disgusted me because I am a scholar.
 
My scholarship disgusted me because knowledge is empty.
My emptiness disgusted me because I wanted to be whole.
My wholeness would have disgusted me because to be whole
is to be smug. Still, I tried to understand wholeness
 
as the inclusiveness of all activities: I walked out into the yard,
trying to vomit and drink milk simultaneously. I tried to sleep
while smoking a cigar. I have enough regrets to crack all the plumbing.
I’m whole only in that I’ve built my person from every thought I’ve ever loved.

Hannah Gamble, "Leisure, Hannah, Does Not Agree with You  2" from Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast, published by Fence Books. Copyright © 2012 by Hannah Gamble.  Reprinted by permission of Hannah Gamble.

Source: Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (Fence Books, 2012)

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Poet Hannah Gamble

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Living, Disappointment & Failure, Life Choices, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

 Hannah  Gamble

Biography

Hannah Gamble is the author of Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast (2012), selected by Bernadette Mayer for the 2011 National Poetry Series. She has received fellowships from InPrint Inc, The Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the University of Houston, where she served as an editor for Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts. Gamble has been a guest on podcasts such as Radio Free Albion with Chicago poet Tony Trigilio . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Disappointment & Failure, Life Choices, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Humor & Satire

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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