BANG! authors are showcased individually here online for a month. Each author installment is made up of three pieces in any combination: poetry shorts (20 lines) or fiction or nonfiction (500 words each) for a month. All work on must be previously unpublished. Submission period runs all year round. BANG! pieces are not published in The New Guard. Work should be very short: flash-short. Pieces on BANG! are meant to serve as a kind of calling card for the author. :: Our next installment will be posted on June 18, 2017. ::
Our May/June BANG! author is V. Hansmann. V. is a BANG! invited writer.
V. was raised by wealthy people in suburban New Jersey; growing up to be neurotic, alcoholic, homosexual, and old. In June 2011, He completed a low-residency MFA in creative writing at the Bennington Writing Seminars, concentrating in nonfiction and poetry. His publishing credits consist of an anecdote in the Metropolitan Diary section of The New York Times and essays in The Common online, Brevity, BLOOM, Post Road, and Best Travel Writing, Vol. 10, as well as poems in Structo, Subtropics, and The Tishman Review. Since August 2011, V has hosted a monthly reading series, Bennington Writers, at the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village. It showcases the voices of the Bennington Writing Seminars – students, graduates, faculty, staff, and friends.
BY V. Hansmann
Must Be Santa
I danced for my grown, disgruntled children.
I danced for my sad, dear ex-wife.
I danced for I could feel the music.
I danced for compassion and resentment.
I danced for I don’t know and so what.
I danced for fuck-all.
I danced for the people who are still trying.
I danced for the fool.
I danced with shimmies and little kicks to the side.
I danced for my daughter’s boyfriend.
I danced for delight.
I danced for a very short while.
165 State Street, 4:27am
Cries of seagulls puncture the night.
Sleeping on the top floor with
The windows flung open:
Ocean breezes temper my dreams
Until the hollering of birds puts an end to foolishness.
Squawks start at my feet,
Travel the length of my slumber
And carry off the top of my head past Munjoy Hill
Dropping it into the bay beyond the Eastern Promenade.
Soon this spectral caterwauling is supplanted by
The complaints of tires.
Some people start their day
The birds stop. The tires stop.
Then the deranged clinking of
Bottles in a shopping cart
Wobbling up the brick sidewalk
Like a gross of glass dentures in a tin pram.
—for Janet Knox Dorman
Calm down. It’s late. They will go to sleep. You will rest. Those
hollow sounds from across the hall will disperse. Run a bath.
Touch your penis. It feels like a penis. Step out of the tub and
wrap yourself in uncertainty. You are clean. The sheets are cool.
Close your eyes. Let your fingers tell your body about your heart.
Out the window, the ocean plays at two edges, one drawn and
redrawn by waves and one just beyond the faint bunting of clouds.
Poetry © V. Hansmann, 2017. All rights reserved by the author.
Previous authors with appearances on BANG! are: Patricia Smith, Jose Padua, Pete Follansbee, Jillian Brenner, Susanna Baird, Alexandra Oliver, Kerri Quinn, Mike Heppner, Marc Mewshaw, Timothy Dyke, Marcia Popp, Quenton Baker, Joshua Graber, Charles Wyatt, Julio Duggan, Scarlett S. Diaz, Erica Vega, Amy M. Alvarez, Jonathan Segol, Lissa Kiernan, Roger Bonair-Agard, James Kimbrell, Bridget Boland, E.G. Cunningham, Melissa Goode, Mark Wagstaff, Carla Stern, Sarah Glass, Jennifer Amell, Zakia R. Khwaja, Julie Poitras Santos, Lyall Harris and Amy Nash.