Jacob Hammer – Three Poems


Poem in which I use Every Exceedingly Too Often


I want to hold her
every overflowing part of her

And wonder how she doesn’t
flow though my fingers
every night

Sometimes I feel as if
I want to pull off my skin
in one sweeping motion
while taking out my eyes and my tongue
give them to her and say

“You don’t deserve them
take them and leave
like I know you will
and probably should”


Her faith in me
is the thread
holding everything together
which I pull undone everyday

I am a patient unstitcher

So, I am blind to any other loveliness

Any qualifier I could think of
is a lie

I touch her
and every part of me
surrenders and resounds with apologies

I put my nose to the floor in


Spring Holds Us by the Throat and Makes Us Restless

But I was trying very hard to be happy
you see

I woke up early and soundly
defeated the snooze alarm
got excited by the window’s words
and moved my potted plants into the sun

I sat cross-legged on every chair
with a smile that couldn’t decide to be
stupid or serene

Just as every night
during my seven-minutes meditation
I quieted my mind with some mantra
and hoped I had done well that day

Had my serene smile
faded from studied indifference
to corrected apathy?

did I waste my time here?
The eternal question
of those
tearing bricks out of their own walls

So I watch the motes of dust
and how
they catch and lose light
so casually

I wander down the stairs
and hope I find a reason to go out the door
before I get there




How can I tell you about these things
How can I tell you
how to whisper when the sun is too bright
to shout when the moon goes behind a cloud

I want you to hold up your hands
and tell me when you want to hear
tell me what will make
the words behind your eyes come loose

To revel in the silence
we must first shut our mouths
and open our ears wider
This is the way to treasure every sound

This is not the way to avoid tears

When it is quiet
I either find myself dreadfully awake
Or  drowsy

There is so much I am incapable
of explaining and
I am sorry

Is everything we have
owned by someone else
or no one at all?

Why all these distractions from the topic?

What is the topic?


I sit here at this café table
and I want you to know something

I want you to know
that stretching in the morning
is reaching for the sun

And someday you will reach it

I don’t care about saying things that
have been said

I hope you will listen either way

I want you to howl
be breath as you are

To enjoy this and feel whole

As I am doing
and again
every day

Every drop of rain
every pull of the wind
rips a hole and puts it together

I’m going to leave letters
to you inscribed on every surface
you won’t imagine

I will hope this is enough


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is the wound that heals you as it digs further.  It’s what all poetry, all art that is truly art is after.  When I see it in poetry, I know it because, to paraphrase Dickinson, it takes the top of my head off.  Beautiful poetry reaches between our ribs and makes a home there by shifting our organ around and becoming a part of us forever.


Jacob Hammer has been writing poetry for eight years and has received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His poetry can be found in See Spot Run Literary Journal, Fourth & Sycamore, Shantih (forthcoming), and has been featured in the Pine River Anthology.