4 Poems by Jon Bennett

Tight Rope

“Is it your birthday?”

says the drunk lady

The little girl might

speak English

but her mother doesn’t,

all she knows is

the wino following them

is scary

“How old is she?” says the drunk,

“I used to have a daughter.”

The mother tugs her daughter’s arm

the birthday balloon

trailing after them

“I used to have

a little girl!” sobs the drunk

and swigs

from her bottle,

the only way

she can stay

standing.

Fear and Trembling

There’s a Chinese restaurant

on the corner of Clement and 24th

They have irrelevant green beans

and their fried tofu is maudlin

but it’s the only place

open after 2am

and so I eat there

almost exclusively

To quote Kierkegaard,

“In as much as

and in the sense that,”

the linoleum is revolting

and the chili oil

like brown fish scales

floating in a snow globe

from Hell

I find it all comforting

especially the old neon sign

blinking “Chaos Chaos Chaos”

and then the solitary apostrophe-  ‘ ‘ ‘

I can honestly say

I dine on chaos

I dine on chaos nightly.

My Struggle

I woke up and drank the coffee

the coffee had made itself

I won a fancy new coffee maker

anyhow, I drank it and

sat on the bed

then I laid on the bed

When I woke back up

the sun was going down

I arose

my knees and back

hurt from disuse

I stretched and when

my neck popped

I took a breath and waited

to make sure

I was still intact

Then I went to a coffee shop

and had more coffee

I then saw the moon

it was orange,

fat as an overripe pumpkin

and so low it looked

to be resting

on the rooftops

I hadn’t had a job in months

and so

I rejoiced.

Dutch Wives

“Perhaps another pillow…”

Sleepless

No idea why!

“Perhaps another pillow…”

I have a landslide

of nylon batting, My Pillows,

down pillows, throw pillows

and the body length pillows my dad calls

‘Dutch Wives’

God knows where

the name came from,

an old farming footnote

the Minnesota bachelor

shucking corn and

masturbating furiously

against his ‘Dutch Wives’

at dawn

The morning is the sad time

when the insomniac

acknowledges another lost war

the darkness evaporating

the pile of pillows, wrung, twisted

and another Dutch wife

thrown to the floor.

bio: Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.  You can find more of his work on Spotify, Pandora, and other music streaming sites, or by connecting with him at https://www.facebook.com/jon.bennett.967. The pictured album “Darling” has not yet been released, it’s available through physical copies only at https://www.etsy.com/listing/720927341/darling-jon-bennett2019

darling

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