Erin M. Bertram | from The Vanishing of Camille Claudel

bertram_web-coverfrom The Vanishing of Camille Claudel. Poems by Erin M Bertram. Number 2.12 in the Seven Kitchens Press Editor’s Series.

Cover: Camille Claudel, La petite chatelaine, 1895. Public domain.
Chapbook design: Kari Larsen.

Published: December 21, 2016 [100 copies]
20 pages

Erin M Bertram is a PhD student and Teaching Assistant in Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, an OutSpeaking volunteer with the LGBTQA+ Resource Center, and winner of the 2016 Karen Dunning Scholarly Paper/Creative Activity Award for the lyric hybrid text manuscript “It Is Not a Lonely World.” The author of eleven chapbooks, including Memento Mori, Erin has received awards and scholarships from the Frank O’Hara Chapbook Series, Augustana College, Prague Summer Program for Writers, and the Academy of American Poets, with work appearing in Leveler, So to Speak, Uprooted: An Anthology on Gender and Illness, as a published finalist in the 2013 Diagram Essay Contest, and elsewhere. Erin holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis as a former Teaching Fellow, is a Zen practitioner, and has led creative writing and LGBTQ ally workshops for a variety of organizations. 

_______ _______ _______ ________ _______

Give me the gift your mallet intends:
Sturdiness. Something to break myself by.
You placed an ember deep in the marrow
Of my bones, buried it in inches of stone.
You, commissioned by some holy-
Unholy thing, to unearth it–to reach in, 

With both hands, & draw it out,
Hold it up to the light, give it a name

That catches, that holds. I’ll never walk,
I know that, so I trace your steps, each one,
With the eyes you’ve given me, your limp,
Subtle, its syncopated rhythm. Its defiance. 

As you sleep, I swing my phantom limbs,
Semaphore to no one. I wave down the dawn.

_______ _______ _______ ________ _______

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