Eden M. Kennedy

you've come to the right place

Eden M. Kennedy is the co-author (with Alice Bradley) of the book Let's Panic About Babies! (St. Martin's Press, 2011).

A former college-radio DJ, Mrs. Kennedy has driven cross-country six times in a 1973 Volkswagen Bug and enjoys standing on her head.

Currently she works at a public library and is finishing writing her first novel.

Filtering by Category: Poems

13 Ways of Looking at a Hamster

I The house was dark. The only moving thing Was the eye of the hamster.

II

I was of three minds Like a habitrail In which there are three hamsters.

III

The hamster whirled in its spinning wheel. It was a small part of the condominium.

IV

A man and a woman Are one. A man and a woman and a hamster and a tortoise and a bulldog and a nine-year-old boy Are one.

V

I do not know which to prefer, The beauty of wanting seeds Or the beauty of having them, The hamster digesting Or just after.

VI

Incomprehensible things were written. The hamster ignored them.

VII

O tan men of Hollywood, Why do you imagine golden beavers? Do you not see how the hamster Scampers around the feet Of the women about you?

VIII

I know Mexican accents And lucid, unrepeatable curses; But I know, too, That the hamster doesn't care What I know.

IX

When the hamster burrowed out of sight, It marked the beginning Of one of many sunrises.

X

At the sight of hamsters Flying in a green light, Even the neighborhood weirdos Would cry out sharply.

XI

He rode over California In a glass hybrid. Once, a fear pierced him, In that he mistook The shadow of his Prius For a swarm of hamsters.

XII

The wood chips are moving. The hamster must be breathing.

XIII

It was evening all afternoon. The hills were burning And they were going to burn. The hamster sat In his food cup.

Apologies to Wallace Stevens.

Yesterday Evening in the Grocery Store

Twentysomethings with tattoos and creative facial hair,when did you discover my neighborhood? It used to be just middle-class families who went to bed at ten and leathery beach rats who kept our one bar open.

Now here you are in the cat-food aisle, beaming at all the Fancy Feast. Cuddles will enjoy whatever flavor you pick. Don't forget to buy kibble, though, or she will lose all her teeth.

Ignore my son as he runs past you shouting, "Dipthong!" He enjoys saying the word. If you ask him what he wants for dinner, he'll say, "dipthong."

It was funny the first seventeen times.

On a campus that didn't much care for poetry, my college had two poetry prizes. I won one sophomore year, and the other one senior year, which pretty much made me Big Poet On Campus. Every spring, five seniors from colleges and universities around the state were chosen for the Poetry Circuit, where you got to drive around and give readings of your poetry with the other BPOCs. It was very prestigious, and I made the penultimate cut, but in the end I wasn't chosen for the tour. When I expressed my disappointment to my writing teacher, he told me something that I've never forgotten. He said,

"In writing, early success leads to early cronyism, leads to early intellectual death."

When you're twenty-one and so is Bret Easton Ellis and he's famous and you're not, that can give you some hope. But now I'm thirty-eight and so is Bret Easton Ellis and he's still doing okay and I'm blogging, and it makes me wonder: Is this it? I gave up on poetry when I got to the point where I was only writing sonnets and could only think in pentameter; I gave up on fiction because I didn't have the attention span to write a coherent, necessary short story, much less a whole novel.

Way back on November 23, 1985 I wrote in my diary, "Maybe this is all I'll ever write -- journal entries."

Maybe I was right.

Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
I come, my sweet,
to sing to you!
My heart rouses
thinking to bring you news
of something
that concerns you
and concerns many men. Look at
what passes for the new.
You will not find it there but in
despised poems.
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.

William Carlos Williams