you can be mountain and i will be skyscraper

Dear Rebel.

Johnny Cash sings to me from a Brooklyn cafe. Somewhere in the walls, he lifts himself through circular cracks called speakers and haunts me into this letter. Are you writing. A woman on the 4 train with dark roots and red-drenched locks asked to read my shoulder today. I watched her from the Bronx into Brooklyn, read local newspaper out loud to her partner. I first grew distracted by her voice, which sounded carved out and scratched up like acidic-graffiti on subway windows. I watched her mouth move, a bit sunken in from lack of teeth, slowly sound out each word. With invisible straw between lips, she sucked up each syllable, then looked at her partner. That’s from a book, she said.  I can tell. I wanted to tell her that humans hit the height of their beauty when they are reading. Humans who swallow literature in ways that sometimes cause indigestion or sometimes create strain in the gut. This is the stun of cognition.

Rebel, I wonder about the state of your mountains: the peaks of earth that grow inside you. Perhaps I can lend you some of my bolts and windows. My glass is streaked but so is this planet. How about you throw ink into the air and let the wind bring your liquid permanence toward this side.

Johnny twangs his teeth into knee-slapping rhythms and I’ve put on some weight. It is either a baby or a prose poem gathering dust inside my womb and I may need to whisper into my body that I am not a fan of over-population, and much prefer the narrative of metrical structure. Can we yurt soon. There is a home that is red on a street made of crowns and it waits for me to insert my key. I think about what home has meant to me this past month of wander. Suppertime with a human who has reintroduced to me the importance of starting over. Adventures with a three-year old who notices everything that gets lost once you reach a certain age. Sleeping in a room where a pile of bags remind me of impermanence. There has been love and some wanderings of grey. Contemplations of exi(s)ting. Rebel, I will cook you kale and poetry. We can drip coconut oil from our curls into a cast iron pan and devour the days that cling to our twists. I’ll keep my windows open.

blue mind [ or ] perforated gender on a leaky night

Dear Lidia.

It is dark here, but I sit at a bar gulping a happy hour pint of local ferment reading a book about gender. Human beside me is burning her retina on the superpower glow of handheld lover. Does anyone read off paper anymore? I just need to poem tonight. My body is engulfed in the flames of syllables itching their way off of me. I’ve got my ukelele, but that seems to be for fire escapes and benches; stages are too daunting to stroke and sing on. But just in case, I swallow final sip, and pinch my hips through narrow doorway toward evening open mic.

Lidia, one thing to mention is my lens. I notice certain things that others may not. We write stories as we live them and in this room, I felt overpowered by men. Perhaps I have been thinking a lot about this gender quite a bit lately. The scent of their limbs and the way this particular pack seemed overthrown with aggression. At one point in the night, one actually had a tantrum on stage. 

Before it was my turn to perform, I decided to leave. My friend and I walked through the dark and dank, back into the evening which dripped sky through tiny petals of rain. I wanted to ask him what it was like to be a man. We need to ask this of each because no experience is the same. My gender is perforated and spotty. Far different than the one(s) beside me who may look similarly. Our experiences are our own.

When I arrive at my temporary home, I open up the bedroom window and climb out on the black-painted fire escape. Months ago, I would have been so fearful of this height. Now, I climb and sit, staring down at the life below me.

Lidia, there is revolution in our souls. We are revolving/evolving. I am not the same as I was yesterday or the week before. I am loving/I am in love/I am loved. I write to you because I need to feel read right now. I need to feel like these letters are being gathered. I am thinking about jumping. Not down, but toward.


“The Understanding between Foxes and Light” Book Launch @ The Parkside Lounge

great weather for MEDIA is delighted to launch their latest anthology,
The Parkside Lounge  /  317 E Houston St, NYC  /   7-9pm 
The Understanding between Foxes and Light

Featuring Hala Alyan, Billy Cancel, Steve Dalachinsky, Kat Georges, Robert Gibbons, Aimee Herman, Ngoma, and Karl Roulston

And everyone who buys a book will win a prize!

Hosted by the incredible poets: David Lawton and Jane Ormerod


but the mayflies fear no such thing

dear lidia.

I cannot begin to cite all the stars I counted on that night when the air felt more like the endings of autumn than august. Where I should begin is the digestion of home-baked high as I paddled in lung-inflated kayak in illegal waters of new york reservoir. The sun dripped on each shoulder as I felt muscles expand with intentional dig of directional ore. To enter memory and present-tense simultaneously.  Stumbled swallows and the ways in which I digest silence as though it is meat: I want more of it; I feel sick from it.

The mayflies, Lidia. The adults may live for only a few days and here they are, flustered and twitching around us. Could we be part of their final hours? They lay their eggs in water and then they sink. Perhaps these stars are the bulbs of light leading the mayflies to the bottom of lakes where their offspring wait. I have no such thing as bathing suit, Lidia. But we do not need to ask permission from this salt stream. Let’s just exist as one of them.

I should mention that I have a difficult time with authority, Lidia. We are given a warning when we trespass through a part of the earth that is still earth and I wonder why deer and cockroaches don’t give us humans these tickets.  They were here first. When the police want me to travel inside submission, I grow louder. I flex my underarm hair because that is where the rebellion grows. And I whip out weaponry of red, stained notebook. Got poems shaped as bullets or bullet-shaped-poems. Got mosquito-bitten ankles and I wonder if we were all just given one day to exist, how we’d trample. There’d be no time for fear.

so what else, then…….but to survive on the presence of now.

(a) rebellious taunt of an urban/podunk evolution

a long-distance poem written by Rebecca (Rebel) Diaz and Aimee Herman

through the war(p) of this forearm, there will be an exam of historical emphasis

the snow will soon reach the rooftop, temperatures will teeter from negative 40⁰ to 80⁰

why do you not sit in an upright position when being plummeted with the sounds of saxophone made famous by the chapped lips of jazz, by the stretched out cheeks of it, by the callused fingerprints all up in it  by the/  by the/  spit in it

it is moving into us/you/me  / back to them / and then around

it will reach the heart and preserve it in frost, these limbs will go limp in this windchill, breathing may be shallow and frozen slowly, malleted by reflection

what does it mean to overwhelm the mayflies falling out of life so quickly like the way kisses ghost our face

the moon is a belly in the sky, bloated, bruised, contracting, the sloughing off is coming

there will be no autumn this year. only winter

and in this winter, expect musk—subsisting on exhales freezing against the water’d shivers of body

they tell me, it will break blood vessels near the four chambers, childhood may leak into the surrounding tissue, it may turn from black-and-blue to [un]biblical.

does it matter that you sawed off two syllables in your name in order to arrive at the truth of your bones

this is a process of infusion, of boiled cartilage letting go of identity and refashioning its calcium into pumping

when monsters grow in trees, dripping sap of carbon dioxide and road fumes and when you run out places to hide from the mirroring

jar up your heart with a symbiotic culture of podunk and populous, find tent in Brooklyn backyard or a sundog along the Red Lake River and roast poetry soaked whiskey over teeth



(a) gathering. a collective. [a] community of poetics.

I have moved quite a bit in my life. Pushed things into garbage bags and backpacks and makeshift suitcases. I have traveled across the country to find my place on pages and stages and classrooms. With each move, I always gravitated toward the local open mics. Here is where I always found my people.

In Connecticut, just outside of Hartford, I went to a Wednesday open mic full of mostly musicians, and one other poet who was drenched in romanticism and spirituality. We gathered every week, mainly the same faces and occasionally a few new, curious ones. Eventually, we started collaborating. I was accompanied by a bassist, harpist, electric guitar player and percussion. If we had met in any other way, we’d barely notice each other. But music and poetry sewed us into this small cafe each week.

In Colorado, in a mountainous town called Boulder, I found an open mic in walking distance to my studio apartment on Folsom Street. I met a tall, illuminating man from Long Island and two young poets who later became my first friends there. We poem’d so hard and fierce, that we later collaborated our languages onto a much bigger stage in a theater. This is where I fell in love with a human who got me; this is where I saw the power of stretching arms and stanzas into performance; this is when I knew there was no back-up plan. I could be nothing else but a poet. But a performance artist. But this slinger of words.


Upon moving back to Brooklyn to start my graduate degree several years ago, I found myself searching again. I tried out a few in Brooklyn, then traveled underground toward Manhattan. I started to notice similar faces. The thing about poets is we tend to be shy before the poems come out. Once we unzip, we are animals. I found my zoo of NYC poets early on and have been howling with them ever since.

That Long Island poet who I met in Boulder (who became my mentor), told me: Aimee, make sure you pay it forward. I am paving the way for you and you must do the same for as many others as you can.

So, I search out the ones who move me and make space for them. More than thattell them how they impact me, because oftentimes we forget to say out loud how much these words and gestures mean.


Almost a year ago, I was approached to be part of something that incorporated all of my favorite things: poets creating a space for other writers to create. Founded by Megan DiBello, Poetry Teachers NYC is a collective of poets and creative humans offering affordable, creative writing workshops around New York City. We also host an array of performance events and open mics. Its been a journey and this road will continue. Today, some PTNYC poets can be found in Brooklyn (including the fantastic, experimental remix’r Daniel Dissinger) , burning up the Way Station stage. Next month, we can be found at the Dumbo Arts Festival. In October, we will be hosting a variety of workshops through Bowery Arts & Sciences. Sign up. It will be more than experience; it will be a disrobe to all the languages and poetics inside you.



that moon is a mangle of footsteps from astronauts
aquatic larvae’d flies fondle exposed ankles
a moose forges puddles of soil into the ground with weight of run
everything tastes better out here–even sadness
root toenails into tree bark and use those scratches as poetic call-outs
swim bones forward and backward 
trance the sun with your skin
a burn of hallucinogenic musical
sleep against the stir of stars and sweat of silence
here is where a film exists from the time you found your way back

a press of summer

Dear Lidia,

Let’s call this a love letter. Let’s talk about how bodies smell differently in the summetime and that I keep calling myself a hippie but body hair and dreadlocks shouldn’t be enough to title myself beatnik bohemia. Shall we pour ocean into wine glasses and get drunk on the float of seaweed and litter’d lives thrown in? Can we roll poems into literate joints and fill each cylinder with shards of Kathy Acker? We can get high off the fumes of feminist monsterisms. What is marriage like. What is it like to sleep beside a man and to mother and to scratch out your sexuality into classrooms and west coast coffee shops? Do you long for soft? Do you desire the itch of inconsistency? Lidia, as you read this, I travel alongside my soul sister on a journey upstate. We head toward a land where the sky is not scraped by metal and 9-to-5’ers. We head toward a pond and exhaled kayaks and I am hoping to dig up some poems as I spend days camping closer to Autumn’s mist. I may be in love with a man; can you still call me queer? I haven’t written a new poem in over a week; call me poet still, yes? You swam miles toward something and I wonder if you ever reached it and what were its colors and can you paint it into my forearm. Let’s talk about the pop of pills hidden beneath tongues like muscular mouth tents. Let’s address the ways in which summertime can elicit more nudity than bedrooms can and I’ve been told my stare is misleading. Keep track of your daily intake of blinks, Lidia. Otherwise, someone may try to hide their genitals beneath your ribcage and apparently prophylactics are impersonal and numbing. How about we breaststroke toward a patch of earth where there are no men or mangled memories. Can you forward me Freud’s phone number? I’d like to be his next case study.


how much of our bodies do we really use

He tells me that birds live longest in proportion to the size of their bodies. They do not use their whole bodies, instead they glide.

Sometimes I wonder how much of my body is really in use. And what parts do I put away and which parts are preferred over the others.

We use our hands to summon taxis toward us or to wrap around pens and scribble words onto pages. We wave to each other; we ask to be called upon; we wipe away the sweat gathered from the summer sun.

Our necks twist, if we are lucky. Our knees bend and if we take the proper dosage of calcium through daily glasses of organic milk or pills, our bones are strong enough to catch us when we fall.

Some parts I prefer to ignore. Kind of like a friend that calls, climbing persistence into each message. If I ignore you, will you go away?

I wonder if the birds ever question their parts. Do they feel too defined by their feathers; do they wish for wider beaks or thicker legs to stand on? Do they approach each other as though gender really matters; or does each hum and whisper through the wind go without clarification of what they house within them?

We do not have to call ourselves what we’ve been called. Names may be changed and parts may be altered and what matters most is all this blood that pumps through us. And what matters next is that our thoughts still travel through and out. And matters after that is how we feel in these bodies.

a collision of poets on a stage in the west village

An evening of NYC small presses featuring In Stereo Press published poets: Megan DiBello, Sam Jablon, Daniel Dissinger (founder, editor, poet) and Aimee Herman.

There are times we meet someone who has so much to say, they run out of ink and paper. When I first met Daniel Dissinger, I had a feeling I should probably run out and buy more pens because I just knew his poetics would inspire more out of me and it has.

If you are unfamiliar with his magical vision, In Stereo Press, go there now. Read/listen/submit.

If you are looking to run out of ink as well, attend a Poetry Teachers NYC writing workshop (affordable and open to all) or one of the many performances we curate. Our next one is in Brooklyn at the The Way Station. It will be a collaboration with the wonderful NYC press, great weather for mediaFeatured readers will include: Dan Dissinger, Megan DiBello, Fiona Bloom, Todd Anderson, John Snyder, and Thomas Henry.