Dear Universe (A Manifesto)

first published by great weather for MEDIA


Dear Universe, I want a full-time teaching job and at least two closets in my apartment and a complete understanding of the difference between effect and affect.

That time I asked my students to stare at each other for sixty seconds (insert laughter, discomfort and a continuous need to look away) and my student, who tried so hard to share his eyes with me, kept whispering how hard it is to look at someone who isn’t speaking. And when we shared our experiences afterward, I asked him the color of my eyes; he said silver. Dear Universe, I want to see the shiny in me too.

Dear Universe, when did you tell me that none of this would end, that brains congeal and there is only so much a scalpel can remove?

Dear Universe, I haven’t quite mastered the pronunciation of marriage and have decided to live alongside the Hadza to learn the importance of telling time through the movement of sky. Maybe I prefer monogamy with things that glow like Lyra or birds with indigestion.

I used to collect ants; scooped them up like cake crumbs and spelled out prayers with their slow-moving bodies. Dear Universe, can religion be that simple?

Dear Universe, when my ribs were the only cage I climbed into. Yes, can we go back to that?

One night when I ran out of things to hold, I gulped down enough street signs to make me feel like I understood what I was doing. Cut my tongue on their sharp edges and I still got lost. Dear Universe, my belly contains a GPS but it always brings me back to where I am afraid of going.

Dear Universe, there is a mouse living inside my oven, so I haven’t cooked anything proper in months. I rolled up a poem and set it on fire hoping the ashes of words would lead it elsewhere. Like that time I read Vera Pavlova and she led me out of that mental hospital. Sometimes we just need an extra map to free ourselves from borrowed kilns or bone breaks.

I want a backyard to plant dandelions and hyaloclastite. Universe, can you give me some land to roam against?

Somehow my wrists slipped their way out of midnight and I am collecting sharps again. Like a brushfire. Like a tic-tac toe board of blood and guts. Dear Universe, I don’t need any more band-aids; it’s surgery time.

Remember when guns sprayed water instead of organs? I left the country of my body because my passport expired and I lost the code to get in. Dear Universe, can you leave the back door open?



Thank you to Kofi Forson for such excellent, thought-challenging questions, when he interviewed me recently for GAINSAYER. Below is an excerpt. Click HERE for full article! 

In Conversation with Aimee Herman

on March 10, 2017 at 11:40 pm

Post-Inaugural Women’s March of 2017 set off a redirect in me first as an example of the post-popularizing of male id-ism and the resistance from women the world over. Aimee Herman, Brooklyn-based performance artist, poet, and educator, widely published in journals and anthologies including cream city review, BOMB, nerve lantern, Apogee and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books), along with her several chapbooks.

We talk in search of an understanding of the appropriation, politicizing of profanity, confessional female lit and language as orgiastic and cathartic.

Kofi Forson: With respect to the new feminist how does she honor Michelle Obama as a sign of progress and maintain her sexual independence using for example Annie Sprinkle as inspiration?

Aimee Herman: I absolutely love that you are mentioning Annie Sprinkle and Michelle Obama in the same sentence. There are so many versions, flavors, and shapes to what a feminist is. A feminist as first lady. A feminist as sex worker. A feminist as educator. When we talk about language, it’s important to make room for as many interpretations as we can. And through these interpretations, it is just as important to question the meaning and significance behind these words. As I joined the thousands of humans marching in New York City, with my protest sign raised high, I took in the clever artistry of words and images everyone screamed out on cardboard. I thought about why we were all there. Now more than ever, we are fighting for more things than we can fit on these placards. We are defending our genitalia, our gender, our sexuality, our race, our class, our future. It’s frightening. And yet, I am empowered by the volume raised on so many voices. Of course there is that realization that our volume should have been raised this entire time.


TODAY 1/8: The Debut of Hydrogen Junkbox

Several years ago, while in a tiny music shop in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, I fell in love. I called her Pancetta and she was the most glorious ukelele. I carried her around with me everywhere I went. She was light and small enough, that even when bike riding, I slung her over my shoulder (neatly packed inside her case) and played whenever I had a moment. While waiting for friends to arrive. Before work. After work. On benches. In the park.

Pancetta will always be my first, though I have since fallen in love with a few other ukeleles. There was a banjo uke, a concert uke and now Pancetta IV, acoustic electric. I slowly started performing with one of them while reading my poetry. Then, I’m not sure what compelled me, but I began to sing a little. I’m still not quite sure what I’m doing, but it’s brought me to this moment with one of my favorite poets/humans: David Lawton.

He and I created a poetry/band collective called HYDROGEN JUNKBOX and we have our first feature today!!! Joined by the marvelous Starchilde on synth and hand claps, we will be performing a few altered cover songs and two original poem songs. Inspired by Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, and many others, we are excited to to share our sounds today!

Come to great weather for MEDIA’s Spoken Word Sundays open mic at The Parkside Lounge located at 217 E. Houston St. NYC from 4-6pm. There is an open mic and Richard Loranger will be featuring as well!

$2 donation/2 drink minimum (there are non-alcoholic beverages as well). I really hope to see you there!!!



Hydrogen Junkbox is a music and poetry collective created by David Lawton and Aimee Herman, guided by the spirit of Brant Lyon. We aim to stir, rumble, and rouse! With Starchilde appearing on synth and handclaps.


Check out this new anthology I have work featured in

Thank you to Candace Habte for encouraging words to come out on the topic of women and bodies.

Check out the anthology:  Theories of HER: An Experimental Anthology 

Because much like this book itself, women have layers.

Over 50 contributors from all across the world, and all walks of life, have come together as they share what it is to be her, know her, and to champion her. Like many other anthologies, Theories of HER is a collection of poetry, essays, literature and art, with contributors ranging from award-winning veterans to emerging writers and artists. But much like today’s woman, this collection is refreshingly unconventional. Each piece stands alone, while also merging together in a poetic tapestry that takes the reader through a lifetime.

More than that, Theories of HER attempts to give voice to the unheard and misunderstood. The writers and artists in this collection refuse to apologize for being women, for being male allies, for being gender non-conforming, for being the L, the B, the G, or the T, for being mothers, daughters, girlfriends, wives, lovers, single, childless, for aging in a youth-obsessed culture, for being politically incorrect, for speaking up, for preferring words to sound, or shouts to whispers…for simply standing in their truth.


Adam Balivet, Aftab Yusuf Shaikh, Aimee Herman, Alison Stone, Ana “Temple” Abram, Andrea Tolbert, Ann Cefola, Brenna Harvey, Candace Habte, Chanel Heart, Christine Brandel, Cici Felton, Cinthia Ritchie, D. Vaisius, Daryl Sznyter, Deidre Dykes, Edward Palumbo, Edward Stettner, Eileen Velthuis, Elizabeth Yalkut, Erika Dreifus, Eve Gaal, FF Merchant, Grace Fondow, HanaLyn Colvin, Hannah Sawyerr, Helmi Ben Meriem, Janis Butler Holm, Jeanine DeHoney, JM, Kathleen M. Quinlan, Katrine Raymond, Kay Retzlaff, Kiara Marie, Kristie Letter, Kyle Liang, Maria Morrison, Maroula Blades, Mary Laufer, Maureen Flannery, Miguel Eichelberger, Nicole Fresh, Nina Martucci, Paul Hostovsky, Rachel Lallouz, Rebecca O’Bern, Rebekah Seagle, Samina Hadi-Tabassum, Sara Walsh, Sarah Y. Varnam, Siaara Freeman, Stephen Cavitt, Susan Holck, TCF, Tom Whalen, Tori Cárdenas, and Z.M. Wise

Are you a Writer???

To all the writers in search of some readers, I encourage you to submit your work to…

great weather for MEDIA!!!

Submissions for our 2017 anthology are open October 15 2016 to January 15 2017.

great weather for MEDIA seeks poetry, flash fiction, short stories, dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction for our annual print anthology.

Our focus is on the fearless, the unpredictable, and experimental but we do not have a set theme for our anthologies.

**We highly recommend reading one of our stunning previous collections to see the type of work we love. Let us know in your cover letter how you found us, and any feedback on what we have done so far. We are based in New York City and welcome submissions from national and international writers. For submission tips, check out our interviews on Duotrope and The Nervous Breakdown

We are thrilled to announce our 2017 guest prose editor is Lynette Reini-Grandell. Read our interview with Lynette.

We accept work through Submittable only. Work sent via email or snail-mail will not be read. You may set up a Submittable account for free and we do not charge a reading fee. Your account will be created during the first step of the submission process.

Finally, please read the guidelines! We do tweak them each reading period in order to improve our submission and selection process.

tonight!!! queer art organics!!

Come to Dixon Place at 161 Chrystie Street in NYC for some magnificent poetry and storytelling.

7-8:30pm FREE!!!!

(starts promptly at 7:30pm)

Queer Art Organics

poetry, spoken word, storytelling, comedy, performance art…..


With the incredible features: