Poetry: Selections from Jon Bennett

Ada Alley
“What happened to your finger?”
Someone left the gate open again
and he’d been peeing when
I went down to lock it
His right index finger was gone
like just recently
and not in a hospital
“I’m a student of planetary polarity.”
“Of course,” I said
“It was a matter of synchronization,” he said
“So, you had to cut it off?”
“I’m glad you understand.”
We had a moment
of synchronization
although I still had my fingers
this was Ada Alley
where, when your time comes,
it’s never
in a good way.

Where I’m Going
“I have an aunt in Boston.”
“Do it. Don’t just sit around.”
I talk to my friend’s wife
about taking a trip
the gambling gods are angry,
Lakshmi, Thoth,
Nohoilpi for the Navajo
they’re sick of me
and before the bankroll is gone
I think I ought
to go somewhere
“Take the train, it’s easy.”
“The California Zephyr?  
I did that once.”
I think about the train
wading through the cities
drinking alone in the lounge car
ending up in Boston, or Chicago, or
wherever it is I’d end up
or staying sober, eating turtle soup
by myself in New Orleans
Wherever it was
I’d be alone, like always,
which is a destination
in and of itself
so I go back home
and watch TV
which is far easier
but with the same result.

Ego Glue
I throw the book off the bed
something sticks me, a pen
throw it too
crumple up a half done crossword
twist off the sheet
go soak my feet in cold water
then alligator roll under the blanket
one hour, two hours
Finally get up and meditate
(if you find yourself
writing a poem
about meditation
that’s fine
just never show it to anyone
don’t submit it anywhere
you’ve reached a place
that ought to remain unread
for you have matured
into a monstrously dull person)
I meditate
think about ego
you cannot push the ego away
for if you touch it
it sticks
like trying
to wash the glue off your hands
with more glue
Flummoxed, I give up
glare at the bed
close my eyes one last time
and see a distant

I’ve Come to Love Boats
Between the bartender’s Korean accent
and Tautico’s mumble
I feel like an incompetent
telegraph operator
She’s talking about the price
of PatrĂ³n, I know that much
and Tautico, the hookers
of San Raphael
gathered like gulls
by the garbage dump
“A magic spot,” he says
then goes on about
fixing rich men’s yachts
Tautico is missing teeth
thus the mumble
but I detect,
“The frigate birds
shitting on the teak”
so I imagine
beaks breaking open
a mouthful of tiny eggs
and all things porcelain
crumbling into rubble.

Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his work on most music streaming websites, or by going here or here


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