Shane Allison


1.  How many poems about ham sandwiches can I send at one time?

2.  How often can I submit a ham sandwich poem?

3.  Do you accept previously published ham sandwich poems?

4.  Do you accept simultaneously submitted poems about ham sandwiches?

5.  What rights do you ask for when you accept a poem written about a ham sandwich?

6.  Are you strictly someone who likes poems about ham sandwiches?

7.  What do you mean by all poems about ham sandwiches are subject to editing?

8.  Why don't you accept poems about turkey or cornbeef sandwiches?

9.  Do you pay for the ham sandwich poems that are accepted?

10.  I received a letter saying I have made it through the first round of ham sandwich poems being considered.  What does that mean?

11.  How quickly will I hear back from you about the status of my poems about ham sandwiches?

12.  What types of poems about ham sandwiches do you accept?

13.  Do you accept poems about egg salad?

14.  Do you accept essays or reviews written about ham sandwiches?

15.  Do you accept photos taken of ham sandwiches?

16.  If I have no previously published poems about ham sandwiches to list, can I still submit?

17.  How can I be a Guest Editor for poems written about ham sandwiches?

18.  Where are your poems about ham sandwiches based?

19.  Do you comment on ham sandwich poems that are rejected?

20.  How short or long can my poems on ham sandwiches be?

21.  Do you accept religious verse about ham sandwiches?

22.  Do you accept rhyming verse about ham sandwiches?

23.  What authors of ham sandwich poetry do you believe exemplify what you are looking for in a poem about a ham sandwich?  


I threw it away yesterday in a waste basket  
Of Orange peels,  
Junk mail,  
Scraps from collages, 
And empty vitamin water bottles. 
Something came loose from the buckle 
That I tossed in the bathroom trashcan 
Between the toilet and shower curtain. 
It wasn’t the same belt my father used to beat me, 
Or the belt I thought to hang myself with in the garage. 
This is the one worn away at the punch holes 
Purchased from Wal-Mart for twelve bucks 
With leather strong enough to hold me together 
Oh, to be replaced like an old sock, 
Or a pair of underwear with a shotty waistband.

For My Mother Who Asks, “Why is Your Stomach so Big?”

My belly is my hurt locker
Where I hold years of pain,
And the kind of anger that destroys
Towns like a Tennessee tornado and there are no survivors.
No matter how many pushups I do,
I will never burn off this bitterness.
Every stretch mark is a daisy chain of memories.
This one tells the story of the day dad beat me
Because I embarrassed him 
In front of his former high school football coach
For not dressing out in gym.
This one tells of the day he went to prison for a year
And we had to rustle up dinner by standing in line at food banks.
This one that trails down to my thigh
Tells of the look you gave me
When that mall cop told you
I was being arrested for indecent exposure.
These stretch marks mark the night
You told me you would rather be dead 
Than have a gay son. Do you remember?
I was only nineteen and not as sweet.
This one that leads down to my belly button
Is the day dad called me a sissy.
I heard him outside the bathroom window.
So in case you’re wondering what happened to me,
Why I won’t be the son you want me to be,
It’s not due to fried chicken or pork chop sandwiches,
Or late night snacks of raisin creme pies
Or nutty buddies,
But a rage unlike anything you will ever know, Mother.