Abigail Hamilton
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Things just aren't looking
like we'd imagined they would
after thriving so

Abigail Hamilton has photographed a number of weather-beaten or just beaten businesses in the outskirts of Seattle—evoking a post-apocalypse of the American dream. Next, she has colonized this bleak landscape with characters who speak in the terse idiom of haiku. In this way, the author distills the recommendations, observations, admonitions, instructions, recollections, and oracular pronouncements of the lost yet knowledgeable souls whom she imagines holding forth amidst the ruins. As others have done, Hamilton milks colloquialism and trash-culture for laughs, but the deceptively casual satire cannot conceal a humane meditation on the gap between illusion and reality, incidentally set in the rust belt of the Pacific Northwest. — Oliver Sacramento, October 04, 2004

Don't go near it, don't
shop the Artillery Shack;
it might be catching
We had to shut shop,
squeezed out by the fireworks signs
next door: "Bennie's Jets!!!"
Like the Château d'If,
the Court is a breeding ground
for vengeful exploits
Park the ol' zoomy
and get your groove on for cheap —
Just don't go pogo
We had some damage
but the insurance didn't pay.
We'll be real careful.
The Puyallup tribe
floats through the dreamscape of Fife,
apart and a part
Life in the Don Rays
got good when the espresso
showed up: sophisti-
The only drawback
besides total abjection
is the traffic noise
Someone better fix
the bulb on the sign 'cause it's
makin' us look bad
Hard to recognize
us in this tortured shape, hard
to see the blue sky
Go[lden] West, young man, and
don't talk to the other guests.
Make plans for later
The sunlight is good —
'cause this here beacon is done
gone out, done gone out good
Klose-in on 99
we make room no matter what
you've done or plan on
The jingle song went
"Never Eat Lemolo Meat
'Cept With Your Honey"
Lucky, he came by
hopped up and tagged it real good.
Shouldna dotted it
We can fix the tube
and restore your ritual
right back where it was
Either way you go,
the Manette Bridge
takes you somewhere much the same
When I say "Runs good,"
I mean you can move along
when the cops come by
Do not miss this low-key
opportunity to save
nothing but some cash
It made me feel weird,
looming there, desolate, dead —
then the swap meet came
Sooner or later
you are going to need something
and we take payment
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