TODAY! Governor’s Island Poetry Festival

Let the sky rain poems all over your perspiring flesh! All day, POEMS and IMAGINATIONS torn open and amplified. I’m excited to be featured alongside other great writers for Big Words, Etc. reading series. We go on at 4pm on the Algonquin stage.

Catch the 3pm ferry…..or come much earlier and take in all the magnificence of this magical land.

I’ll be reading some new poems, two inspired by the great Nan Goldin, whose exhibit I just caught at the Museum of Modern Art. She always always blows me away.

the other side of things

I’m trying to understand my inability to sign my name to things.

Recently, I was asked to list all of my scars, every side-effect from every human I’ve ever let inside me. I had to name two references who could locate my left ovary. I went back on medication because I missed having night sweats and hallucinations of solidarity.

I decided to cut all my hair off.

I removed all my clothes, including four of my moles and part of a vein that never seemed useful. I like that my scalp reminds me of a mountain.

Several days ago, I was yelled at by a man who hates white people. Or queer people. Or former Jews. Or drug addicts. Or teachers. I’m not really sure. My lung just couldn’t stay inside me anymore, so it jumped out, crossed the street and I’ve had difficulty breathing ever since.

I kissed a beautiful woman wearing lipstick on her toes, missing one-third of her wrist. I had forgotten how to take off bras, so we just did it wearing straps and confusion.

After the sun had clocked out, I watched a silent movie in the sky starring Anne Bancroft and Gene Wilder. I ran out of popcorn, so I started stealing nasturtiums from the garden I keep inside my pocket. Nothing is ever salty enough.

Maybe I will be approached with a piece of paper in the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge or a fence and I will signature my name in black ink or blueberry preserves and I will not hesitate because when I look out the window every sunflower will be looking straight at the one who most resembles the sun. And we will kiss as though we have invented something no one has ever heard of and our tongues will cure buildings.

Or something like that.

SATURDAY: Cleaning out our closets (a performance about all the ways we come out)

JULY 23rd……Stories and Songs about Coming Out

Cleaning Out Our Closets is featured in the HOT! Festival at Dixon Place, so come and celebrate all the ways we reveal ourselves to others (and ourselves). FEATURING: Aimee Herman and Trae Durica

WHERE? Dixon Place 161 Chrystie St./NYC

WHEN? Door @ 7pm Show 7:30 This is a short show, so please be on time, as it has a running time of 45 minutes.

*There will be poetry books and Keith Haring inspired patches for sale!!!****



Aimee Herman is a performance artist, poet and teacher, widely published in journals and anthologies. Aimee has two-full length books of poems and is currently writer-in-residence for Big Words, Etc. reading series.

Trae Durica is a poet and artist, whose work has been published by NYSAI and great weather for MEDIA. He will be featured in the BOOG poetry festival in August.

jesus christ means get out of the way* (part II)

first published by great weather for MEDIA


*I was unable to reach God for comment on preferred gender pronoun, so I am using ‘they’


God keeps approaching me: twice in Washington Square Park, on the 4 train toward the Bronx, at the dog park, new doctor’s office while waiting to have my blood and urine evaluated.

God keeps insisting I read their book. Tells me it’s a best seller, but I much prefer the kinds of books no one yet appreciates. I am courteous and never dismissive, but I always explain that though I appreciate God’s conviction, I have a difficult time believing in anything these days.

It’s not that I don’t know what to believe in, it’s how. I don’t know how to believe when there are so many bullet holes and bones around me.

I meet a sailor on a Saturday night and he tells me he prays to the waves of the water. He rubs salt into his skin, as though they are rosaries with tiny prayers sucked into the crystalline. This sailor has eyes bluer than any body of water I have ever seen and I want to dive into them to drown in his dogma. I tell the sailor that when I was a kid, I only believed in God for the desserts. I explained that when I was young, my parents took me to synagogue. While everyone prayed and sang, I braided the fringe on my father’s tallis, waiting for the end where everyone convened toward the giant table with cookies, stale pound cake and Jewish wine (Manischewitz). At that time, to me, God was a pastry. God was a rainbow cookie, which I ate slowly to make it last longer. I didn’t understand the meaning behind the prayers. In Hebrew school, I was restless. I wanted to be a Jehovah’s Witness (because Michael Jackson was). I wanted prayers to emit more miracles.

My mom got sick when I was barely a teenager, and I gave up on God. Desserts still had meaning to me, but were no longer sacred. Just sugar, flour, butter, eggs.

I ingested drugs instead of prayers because they lifted me out of life, into the clouds, out of my body, away from the shrieks of my mind.

I ate books. Hid inside my closet and listened to old radio shows on tapes given to me by my father. I gave up on the word God and no longer frequented buildings where God could be found.

On a different Saturday in Washington Square Park, I sit on a bench, shaded by skyscraping trees, writing a letter to my pen pal in Seattle. Two young ones approach me in crisp white button down shirts, dark pants and name tags. Mormons from the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this park full of humans being human, I feel utterly alone and invisible. Though I don’t quite agree with their word, I listen, telling them how much I appreciate the bravery of their faith. I ask them: Do you ever have doubt? What happens when you just can’t fathom believing anymore. I mention the massacre in Florida. People just trying to celebrate who they were and losing their lives for it. How do you believe after that? I ask.

The youngest one tells me that we are the children of God, but once we are here, it is up to us to make room for everyone. I listen as he tells me that God can’t stop bullets, only we can.

I feel all the salt bubble in me. I ask them how old they are: 18 and 20. I ask what they want to be when they “grow up”.

An entrepreneur , says the 18 year old. 

A husband and father, says the other.

When they walk away, I continue writing my letter, thinking about all the ways in which a body can be depleted, as I frantically search for ways to keep my breaths from dissolving.