blackmail press 18
Tom Hamilton
Tom Hamilton is an Irish Traveler. He currently lives with the clan known as the Mississippi Travelers, which is tantamount to a race of gypsies He says: "Not all 'Travellers' are the con men and scam artists that they have been portrayed as in the American media." His work has appeared in over one hundred publications around the world including 'Bathtub Gin' 'The Rockford Review' and the 'Old Crow Review' among many others. He has had two chapbooks published: 'The Rain Draw Bridge' from 'Alpha Beat Press' and 'The Last Days of my Teeth' from 'Budget Press'. Along with his wife Mary Theresa and their two small daughters, Tiffany and Hope Ann, he lives in Memphis TN. U.S.A.

   Around A Scorpion

  That golden sweat on the top of a tap can,
  can resemble small desert rocks or lesser pebbles
  of the sort one might find surrounding a scorpion.
  Except,  that if there were a Southwestern arachnid
  around, any simpleton would draw their hand back.
  Avoiding that prong which longs to transfuse venom.

  So the poison won't kill you, it just makes you sick.
  Until you're searching for more hidden diamondbacks each day.
  Digging twenty five bugs from the rubble each day.
  To glow aureole against the many vertical grays
  of the city, each day, rile one until it strikes. ( Gold! )
  Any damn fool would just draw their hand back.

    Singing Galway Bay

    When I was nine years old
    my father and I went into
    an elderly woman's house and it
    was gasoline dry that Summer so
    she had vasoline on her hands and they
    went from lamb grease to ice cream like
    a smile might move to a frown but                   ( So )

    When she found me a rugged dip well
    I supposed I had just best eat it because
    my father weighed four hundred pounds and
    his hand was like a first baseman's glove so
    if you caught his kind of cold you
    might sneeze blood all night and when         ( So )

    we sat inside that front porch screen
    he started singing Galway Bay his big frame
    it was vibrating and entertaining and she
    began to cry because that song reminded
    her of her still still Irish husband and
    when my old man honed that final note well
    he could have been a pro why everyone said so
    but he was a pro of another kind so
    before she had even sponged her eyes
    she wrote us out a check for ten times
    the amount of what the work was worth but   ( So )

    I didn't really mind too much because
    I only knew of cheeseburgers and such and
    baseball and coins and Evil Kneivel toys and
    that I had best varnish off the rest of that
    vicious sheep meat ice cream until
    I could see the Flintstones and Dino
    and they could see me
    with lapped clean
    porcelain eyes.