June 8, 2010

Tammy F. Brewer


To be honest, there are times when
I say to myself God I hope I’m not

pregnant. My faith is not 100%
in condoms. Why I never had sex

until I was 19. And then I married him
several years later. We have a son now

and I remember when I told him the news.
I came out of the bathroom saying, “Look

what you did!” Pointing the plastic wand
as though he was the only one

responsible. That’s the word that comes
to mind after I hope I’m not pregnant.

Even at 33 I think I should know better
except the pill really screws up my body.

So I choose not to take it. For a long time
I didn’t know what it was to ovulate. Now

my body is like clockwork. Always
two weeks after my period and I tell him

we have to be careful. Responsibilities.
In high school health class we learned

how to give life by blowing air into a dummy’s
mouth. That same year they erected

a Coke machine in the school cafeteria.
Because everyone likes to have Coke.

“But not sex!” my dad said after he found
Ann’s birth control pills in her room. “No

daughter of mine is having it!” To be invisible
is to not be pregnant. Because when you are

pregnant, strangers touch your belly and tell you
what you should and should not do

when the baby comes. Before I know I’m not
pregnant I imagine how my life might be

different. Like changing lanes all of a sudden
when another car doesn’t see me.

When you have a child you worry about space
in the backseat and whether there is too much

sunlight or not enough. I pull the seatbelt tight
across my chest, look at my son in the rearview mirror:

An American flag sways its head back-and-forth
in front of the Georgia Right To Life headquarters. Next door

a young girl looks through the window of a T.V.
repair shop, hair parted unevenly down the middle. Her father

waits in the gravel parking lot, car idling. The trunk
open and empty.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009


Tammy F. Brewer: “Recently I watched a documentary on John Lennon in which he told a story about his son who drew him a picture and when John asked his son what it was a picture of, he replied, ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds.’ John went on to admit that this was how he came up with the idea for the song of the same name. Hearing this, of course, caused me to feel a connection with John Lennon because I, too, often borrow lines from my five-year-old son and use them in my poems. Be careful if you are standing near me at an airport because something you say may end up in a poem.”

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February 27, 2001

Tribute to the Sonnet

Conversations with
Alice Fulton & Molly Peacock


#32Releasing in December, 2009, issue #32 celebrates the “little song,” poetry’s most enduring traditional form. Shakespeare and Petrachan sonnets, a backwards sonnet, free verse sonnets, blank verse sonnets, clean sonnets, dirty sonnets, invented sonnets, sonnets that praise sonnets, sonnets that mock sonnets, a sonnet that uses only one rhyme-word fourteen times…all capped off with a full heoric crown of fifteen sonnets by Patricia Smith. The variations are limitless—there’s nothing more liberating than a little restriction. T. S. Davis introduces the special section with a personal essay on his journey into form.

Also in the issue, Alan Fox interviews Alice Fulton and Molly Peacock. Along with 60 pages of open poetry, we share the 11 winning poems from the 2009 Rattle Poetry Prize, culled from over 6,000 candidates.

$10.00 $7.00

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The Sonnet

T. S. Davis The Recrudescence of the Muse
Tony Barnstone Bad Usage
Michelle Bitting Silence Took My Tongue…
Chris Bullard Back Story
Wendy Taylor Carlisle The Circus of Inconsolable Loss
Peter Coghill Gabriella
T. S. Davis Whooping Rendezvous
Paul Dickey A Knack for Losing Things
Caitlin Doyle Backward Sonnet for a Forward Thinker
Jehanne Dubrow The Cold War, A Romance
Alan Fox Dover
Carol Frith Black Tights, a Halter Top
Ernest Hilbert Cover to Cover
Luke Johnson The Heart, Like a Bocce Ball
Mollycat Jones Unholy Sonnet Number One
Stephen Kessler Any Hack Can Crank Out…
Jeff Knight Knives of the Poets
Gregory Loselle from The Whole of Him Collected
Austin MacRae Library Lovers
Patti McCarty Make Mine Darjeeling
Mary Meriam The Romance of Middle Age
Jessica Moll Costume
Ron Offen Aubade for One Dismayed
Jessica Piazza Panophilia
Catherine Esposito Prescott To a Hurricane
Patricia Smith Motown Crown
Elizabeth Klise von Zerneck Freedom
Thom Ward Rumpus, Cohesion, Mess
Donald Mace Williams The Venturi Effect
John Yohe The Ghost of Frank O’Hara


Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz At the Office Holiday Party
Michael Bazzett The Disintegrated Man
Francesca Bell With a Little Education
Tammy F. Brewer One of Those Topics I Shouldn’t…
Erik Campbell This Small Thing
Claire W. Donzelli Two Haiku
Christine Dresch Nuts
Laura Eve Engel Did You Come Yet?
Joseph Fasano North Country
Matthew Gavin Frank After Senza Titolo, 1964
Glenn J. Freeman The Transparencies
Ed Galing Dancing
Peter Harris Living Large
Lilah Hegnauer Exceptions with the Sloughing Off
Michael Hettich The Wild Animal
Bob Hicok How the Mirror Looks…
Colette Inez The Tuner
John Philip Johnson Midas on the Beach
Michael Kriesel Threesome
Rachel Inez Lane Catch Me, Alfred, I’m Falling
Ken Letko The Power of Light
M Salt
Marie-Elizabeth Mali Campaign Season
Kerrin McCadden Intersection
Laren McClung Confluence of Rivers and Mouths
Sally Molini Meal Ticket
Kent Newkirk Fixing Cars
Molly Peacock A Tale of a T
The Softie
J. F. Quackenbush To a Child
Rebekah Remington Happiness Severity Index
David Romtvedt On Broadway
Ralph James Savarese Nor Yet a Dream of War
Lauren Schmidt Grandma Zolie Gives Unheeded…
Mather Schneider Between Us and It
Prartho Sereno Electrodomestico
Lee Sharkey Berlioz
Paul Siegell 06.25.00 – PHiSH…
Charlie Smith The Casing
John L. Stanizzi S-Plan
Arthur Vogelsang Environmental
David Wagoner Before the Poetry Reading
Mike White Nascar
Jeff Worley Lucky Talk

Rattle Poetry Prize Winner

Lynne Knight To the Young Man Who…

Honorable Mentions

Michelle Bitting Mammary
Mary-Lou Brockett-Devine Crabs
Carolyn Creedon How to Be a Cowgirl in a Studio…
Douglas Goetsch Writer in Residence, Central State
David Hernandez Remember It Wrong
John Paul O’Connor Beans
Howard Price Crow-Magnon
Patricia Smith Birthday
Alison Townsend The Only Surviving Recording…
Emily Kagan Trenchard This Is the Part of the Story…


Alice Fulton
Molly Peacock