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Lana Hanson

Lana Hanson is an American poet who boasts no college degree(s), no awards, no “touring poet” accolades. She’s blessed to run a brush through multiplying grey head-hairs, to feel crows’ feet deepening grooves around her eyes. She’s finally started to admire herself. She aims to help women rise up and repair their spirits. Born in Flint, Michigan, Lana Hanson now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her two sardonic (10- and 14-year-old) sons and three perpetually vomiting cats.



BURN LOW, BEATING TIDES, BLISSFUL DRUMS

“But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” (Torah, Gen. 19:26)


It's heat from God's damn flames that makes me turn
to see my lost city burn:

All the rows of pink houses, each a perfect clot,
such shiny waste of plaster and paint
bundled with nails and wires by men like Lot—
shelved trophies that rewarded tame intent.

Where is the room in which I nursed my sons—
and those where I played the "nice wife" role?
Waves of brine-tears, and soon this plot hole:
Lot and his angels worked till they won.

What "punishment" the pious rain down!
I laugh: Should my look back make me
sorry? No, cement me as I choose to drown!
Bring me only doomed cities to see!

Behold! The tantrum of the Great I Am!
Now let me show you what I am...

Come calcium! Come in me saline!
My hardening scalp stings with your sweet hums.
Come Seven Seas! Come, come in me,
low beating tides, blissful drums!

Better to be made of this:
contained, undulating darkness,
two breasts turned up for the moon to bless,
lips caked with Dead Sea ’s salt kiss.

Let "good" Lot have his God, his cash.
All I own is what I've become.
My dream's done, down to ash—
suburban bravado that was Sodom .

My life's surge now has a face.
And here— I like the way I taste.



WORSHIP

We envisioned
the deacons and preacher naked,
working and sweating
over their unwise wives
like they did The Bible.
It was so hard
to stifle the giggling with pieces of
His body
wetting in our mouths.
We all wished for romance.
Every-
body's urges
grew like a cult.



LIVING IN FLINT

lipstick print bleeding
evenly
around the cigarette
in the sink
my swimming panties
stained language
a man on the next street
his skull pummeled
one pane in the whole frame
rattles and
pushes
sun rising
my head from the
blood-colored pillow
cherry ink
one
more
word



KINDERGARTEN

for Max


It thunders this night
before my son's first day of school.
In the doorway of my bedroom
he appears like a ghost,
                               but when
he crawls in beside me
he’s very slippery, very real,
his breathing as quick
and certain as lightning.
My tears disappear
into his prickly hair.
              It's fresh cut.
It was only
a small rumble
away when they told me
Push! and dutifully, I did.
           Now I hand him over again.
He colors outside the lines.
Red is his favorite.
He likes french fries dipped
in ice cream.
All his bad guys know
they're bad.
He has no permanent record.
             I wait for no rain.



END AND INCEPTION

You, embryo chose
the Eastern Avenue Burger King
of all places
to trash the plans.
Your brother obliviously
played in the dirty
ball pit while I felt
the sudden
wetness grow softer.

You took
a long time getting gone.
So pure in hurt, small in life,
finished in burst-
tomato shout.
Thick moth, ugly little
clotted daughter, you
beat at the streaking window for sixteen
whole days and nights, fighting
like light being
sucked from a room.

That-a-girl. Go...
from this world, this woman
parting her legs, to another
who’s opening hers, and all
stop crying.



MICHIGAN SONG

Poor pupas. Looked
like pockets of rocks.
And I liked to destroy
them all.
A pear tree in the backyard.
It has nothing
but green and brown disappointments.
"Heart and Soul" cried
in a mezzo soprano.
Wishbones snapped—
never in her favor.
Bony fingers bounced
over every stale key.
And passing trains joined in.
He was the silent spaces
in the score.
The only song
I knew, yet never knew.
Not one breath
on those sticky nights.
Curtains
blow with unknown ghosts. Below
cats scream
to be touched. Under
that midwest moon on the bedroom floor,
all the round, stitched eyes
return the stare.
Smug
with the play I gave them.

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