Q & A by Dane Hamann


Dane Hamann’s Q & A is an inquiry of the impermanence of the self and its relationship to a myriad of surrounding environments. At times graceful and at times unforgiving, these poems each begin with an enigmatic question that is elemental in its focus. Fire, seawater, trees, sunlight, iron, and gravel shape the answers. Hamann’s collection follows the self—a malleable body exposed to the hammer and chisel of environment—as it journeys in search of a fuller understanding of these answers, as well as the questions.


“From how small a split will we supernova”


when a constellation
of gears spins
and gnashes within us?

We are strange factories
of heat and light.
Sometimes nothing

seems as fragile
as the motions
of our machinery.

Listen to the howl
of our engines.
Listen for the click

of two cogs
not quite meeting.
Time shears us cleanly

but not every force
is as forgiving.
There are hidden points

of failure within us.
Each memory of you,
I’ve made by burning

a wavering match
in front of my teeth.
I wanted to be a vessel

for fire. I wanted
to be held by your
gravity, aflame

and dying like the sun.


Dane Hamann works as an editor for a textbook publisher in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where he also serves as the poetry editor of TriQuarterly.


“From how small a split will we supernova” was originally published in Switchback Journal.



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