Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Feature: Heather Ann Schmidt Day 4

Chasing Lou Hoover

I am surrounded by
Tientsin land mines and
20-something girls
in shift dresses
whispering across the atrium at the DIA.
Acoustics aren't backing up lip reading.

Lou Hoover, is on the screen
in her linen tea dress, crackling.
Strong arms hold the umbrella up.

And I am down here
reciting poetry to
astronomers and geologists
who can't decide whether
we come from stars
or if Gamma Ray Bursts
are close enough to burn Earth.

What is a woman?

Self taught Mandarin and the ability to shoot a rifle?

or drinking coffee with angels
who see heroin turning their veins
bluer then flat...

we all collapse sometimes...

Simone de Bouvier and Sartre
always missing each other on trains.
Parchment letters about the
menage et trois from last night,
berths hiding masturbation.

I'm running through the mine field
in dotted swiss,
Lou Hoover's voice booming down:
keep running and donʼt look back.

Walk like a lady, Heather.
My mother and the white debutante dress
that doesn’t quite fit.

I don't use handkerchiefs or
keep them in my purse.

It's 1899 and I get
on the boat to China.
I've packed enough linen and bullets.

© Heather Ann Schmidt

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6. What bookstores/poetry venues do you recommend in the Detroit area? (We know you can't name ALL of them; just give us two or three!)

My favorite book store is Crazy Wisdom in Ann Arbor. I also love John King Books in Detroit--it has, like, nine floors of every kind of book imaginable!

7. If you had to choose one specific font to express who you are, which font would it be?

Mona Lisa

8. When did you first have an interest in poetry?

When I was seven and we read it in school. I loved the sounds of the words when I heard them.

9. What is your writing process?

Music and poetry are very connected for me. I usually always have some sort of music on when I am writing--Joni Mitchell, Innocence Mission, Led Zeppelin, or Swell Season--music fuels my spirit. Also, I read a ton of poetry on a regular basis. I gained this habit from my mentor, Frank Montesonti, who told me that reading poetry fuels writing. He is right!

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© Heather Ann Schmidt


  1. Wonderful! The poem gets better and more thought-provoking with each stanza. Like "Bat's Love Song to the Moon," this is one to put in the "keep forever" file so that it can be read and reread.

  2. I agree with J.E. Fantastic poem!

    And I need to visit Crazy Wisdom and that multi-floor bookstore in Detroit - heaven on earth.