Forrest Hamer is an American poet, psychologist, and psychoanalyst. He is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Rift (Four Way Books, 2007). His first collection, Call & Response, (Alice James Books) won the Beatrice Hawley Award, and his second, Middle Ear (Roundhouse Press), received the Northern California Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the California Arts Council, and he has taught at the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops.
His poetry has been anthologized in Poet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life, The Geography of Home: California’s Poetry of Place, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Blues Poems, Word... more »
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Forrest Hamer Poems
It was 1963 or 4, summer, and my father was driving our family from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick. We'd been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew
This air is flooded with her. I am a boy again, and my mother and I lie on wet grass, laughing. She startles, turns to marigolds at my side, saying beautiful, and I can see the red there is in them.
A Poem also About the Unconscious
To make it back home across town, we had to learn to walk only through black neighborhoods. Think about this as the map
A Poem also About Duplicity
It would be unfortunate if the idea of multiple selves obscured the fact the self is still responsible for the terror it makes in the mind. It would be a mistake if the multiple meanings
A dull sound, varying now and again
And then we began eating corn starch, chalk chewed wet into sirup. We pilfered Argo boxes stored away to stiffen my white dress shirt, and my cousin
And the old men, supervising grown grandsons, nephews, any man a boy given this chance of making a new sidewalk outside the apartment building where some of them live, three old men and their wives,
After I stumbled through the gauntlet, after they had hit me As hard as they could, Some there only because there was someone else To be brought in, I joined them
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
It was 1963 or 4, summer,
and my father was driving our family
from Ft. Hood to North Carolina in our 56 Buick.
We'd been hearing about Klan attacks, and we knew
Mississippi to be more dangerous than usual.
Dark lay hanging from the trees the way moss did,
and when it moaned light against the windows
that night, my father pulled off the road to sleep.
that usually woke me from rest afraid of monsters
kept my father awake that night, too,
and I lay in the quiet noticing him listen, ...