Friday, May 6, 2011

Looking Into Origin

Looking Into Origin
Jessica Erica Hahn

I am from the green-blue world
born upon the high seas
to salty dog expatriates
who met on Belizian soil
who birthed me on a ship
where gulls flipped through the air
and sunshine glittered on the sea

a long line of fighters is where I spring from
on the matrilineal side,
Prussians pushing through
the Baltic sea, into forests sweeping
escaping Nazis, running to New York
where she grew up, leaving the money behind,
fighting with the freedom riders
raising my sister alone

my father hails from the tinker-builder-welder side
making machines for smashing atoms
weaving through quantum physics
surviving accidents that left others dead
building rockets to send mice to outer space
& riding motorcycles and mail trucks across the land
destroyer escorts & minesweepers from a mothball fleet
full of schemes & dreams
before drowning decades later in a southern sea

two wild creatures of the 60s & 70s
shirking lines of normalcy
crying for freedom in a whirling world
clinging to architectural visions of life together
propelled to leave remnants for posterity

birds flew over where my father
was to be buried in the sea, upon a silver sunrise
& the first night of many my mother woke alone
then there was the migration westwards for
us three, to land in SF, the city by the bay

build our timbered home upon a granite hill
and when the thieves crept in our windows,
padding softly, scattering pictures across the floor
we did not run or hide.
when cops devastated and raided us
it was simply fate’s brutality
my mom incarcerated for growing marijuana trees
somewhere someone whispers,
beware of crossing boundaries
or you’ll get what you deserve

I live in mythology & am
from the deepest part of earth
I have a darkened mantle
in which lives a craggy dragon
a guardian for my heart
to make the untrustworthy turn
to go back home,
or sweep in ones who are
like the old


Jessica Erica Hahn lives and writes in San Francisco, where she might be seen wandering over a hilltop with a baby on her back and a camera on her hip. In the predawn hours she's working on a memoir about her freight-riding days (Ontologica is publishing a selection this summer), and a novel about seafaring hippies in the 1970s. She's a student in the MFA program at San Francisco State, and has several self-published titles to her name, something she's both proud of and slightly ashamed of. Some of her writing can be found at and Hill Babies.

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