No Time for Dancing – by Adam Hammer
Try to change anything in Adam’s poetry to see if you can make it better. Then admire the poetic craftsmanship in every word. “The ocean of wire is smoking… a beautiful fever descends / through the river of darkness your arms are lost in…” Once you have breathed that darkness you are in Adam Hammer’s worlds. You will emerge, if possible, with assumptions about what language is and what it can do, delightfully challenged by his mixture of cruelty and comedy. What does “growing up backwards” feel like? What is the gpA of a “studious mitten”? Why do “ponies… return to the Alps / And explode…?” Some people play the drums; Adam played the vocabulary of insouciant tragedy. “To die is different from what any one supposed…” Whitman wrote. If one were to take the infinitive of any verb, then that is Adam hammer’s world, one in which everything is different from what we had supposed… “and luckier.” -Bill Tremblay
Adam Hammer was an American original: a sweet, disturbing, happy, driven, comic surreal and tragic baseball fan whose poems graze madly among a Rube Goldbergish circus of our tonalities, foibles, myths, commodities and dreams. He was also brilliant beyond belief, to which this little book of gems, excerpted from the unfinished manuscript he left behind, will give ample testament. Reading it will also cause many who never knew Adam to discover what they have been missing him. -Christopher Howell
No Time for Dancing is in the Surrealist Poetry Series. Chapbooks in this series can be purchased here.