Eating the Heart First
by Clare L. Martin

A Tom Lombardo Poetry Selection

ISBN 978-1-935708-66-7
8.5 x 5.5 paperback, 90 pages
Praise for Eating the Heart First
“Clare L. Martin pulls off an impressive balancing act in her debut book of poems Eating the Heart First. In this collection, divided into three sections, she manages trust of her intuitive powers while she tats her findings onto poems built with technical expertise. She is a believer of dreams, and the whole of the work can be read as an oneiric treatise guided by the powers she believes in: the power of memory, the power of water, the power of moons, the powers of longing, and the power of love. In one of the late poems a crow in a dream asks, ‘Let me be a whorl of darkness— / Let me be a fist in the sun.’ All of the poems in this collection have the impact of that crow's call and of the trope it creates. Gradually the poems reveal richly textured revelations of a heart tied to human experience in that ‘dream we cannot know completely.’ And, while we may not ever know the dream completely, Ms. Martin hands us a guidebook to dreams and to the art that uses dream and dreaming as the scaffolding from which to make something beautiful, and useful, and mysterious all at the same time.” 
 Darrell Bourque, former Poet Laureate of Louisiana and author of In Ordinary Light, New and Selected Poems

“Clare L. Martin is a fine young poet whose work is dark and lovely and full of a deep organic pulse. Like the landscape of her beloved Louisiana, her work is alive with mystery. You could swim in this hot water, but there are things down inside its darkness that might pull you away forever. It is an exquisite drowning.” — Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America

Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314

Clare L. Martin
Clare L. Martin is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and lifelong Louisiana resident. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies both online and in print, including Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Literary Mama, Louisiana Literature, and Poets and Artists, among others. Her poems have been included in the anthologies The Red Room: Writings from Press 1, Best of Farmhouse Magazine Vol. 1, and Beyond Katrina. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2012), Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web (2011), Best New Poets (2009), and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net (2008 and 2011).
Meet Cover Artist Pamela Womax
Cover artist Pamela Womax is an amateur photographer who was born and raised in a small southern town along the bayous of south Louisiana. Pamela says her goal as a photographer is to capture the surreal beauty that south Louisiana has to offer. She now resides in a small town outside of New Orleans.  

Coming Soon

I have not one picture
of us taken in Barcelona,

or Carcassonne. None
from the Mediterranean

summer when you rubbed
my bare skin with creams,

carefully around the areolas
so they would not burn,

or of you in the morning
laughing and gesturing

with the old French couple
standing in the sea casting nets.

And at dusk you fed me summer
fruit with your woodsman fingers,

and we drank wine as though
we’d stolen into a still life.

I close my eyes and see you
leaning pose-like,

pressing a calloused palm
on the stone of the cathedral.

In sun-filled rooms,
beneath cool sheets,

we aligned our naked bodies.
‘Blackbird fly blackbird fly’

you sang until I fell asleep–
We met for the first time

the following spring.
This is verifiable.

That you were always with me
is truth, as well.