Annalynn Hammond



It must've happened when no one was looking,
' cause all of a sudden she was a walking accordion,
her arms a pair of slide trombones. There was a pipe organ
in her chest, a bowed saw between her legs
and two tiny midgets appeared on her shoulders
to play her earrings as cymbals. Her trachea
was a mineshaft, her lungs were made of iron ore
and Tom, he was riding on her back,
tipping his hat to a passing parade.

Eventually her body could no longer handle the party
of French, Cuban, Singaporean, American and Russian sailors
who'd decided to turn her stomach into a whiskey jug,
her guts into banjo strings and her vertebrae into river boats.
When Jesus and The Devil murdered each other in her duodenum,
she disintegrated into a wiggly motion like heat waves
off a Cadillac or the shuffling of cards.

Some nights she passes through New York bars
during the last round, and just as everyone begins to shrink
into their shot glasses, she slits the throat of the sax
and they jerk up their heads, spit out their cigarettes
and whisper through smoke, what the hell was that sound?



I tried to tell her a story about lovers who loved each other forever and ever and ever. She said that was the saddest fucking thing she'd ever heard, and then asked if I had cancer yet. These days she doesn't want to know if I've found myself in the metallic eyes of a dragonfly, or if I've decided we're all really just one mass of energy and light, pain and passion ricocheting off each other like electric popcorn, causing a sort of static that can only be described as beauty or Oh my God. She wants me to show her how many diseases are eating my heart, so she can weigh them, see if I’m up to par. She's taken to reality TV and snuff, says when watched simultaneously, they explain everything. I'm afraid she'll start making me eat pig scrotums or stick my hand in a dark box under her bed. Faith, she says, has always been the route of the unholy. She knows I’ll do it every time.



On "The Girl who became a Tom Waits Song":

I'd like to think Tom Waits lives somewhere in my digestive system, wouldn't everybody? This poem was written in a parking lot while my boyfriend wandered through a liquor store searching for Uffda. Of course, Tom Waits was on the stereo. It seemed appropriate at
the time. And now, some words of wisdom from Tom himself: "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead."

On "We'll Probably Put Her Away Soon":

I see the "I" and the "she" in this poem as being of one mind—sort of the optimist and pessimist within us all. I think it also represents a certain fear—what will I become, and what the hell will they do with me?