Three Poems by Jon Bennett

Andrea Hasko-Marx, Art, Jon Bennett, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

black butterfly

Black Butterfly by  Andrea Hasko-Marx


Needle Fight


The two men squared off

in the hotel hallway

a bright red hypodermic disposal box

smashed open on the carpet

between them

Ray could see it on the monitor

he dialed the police

On the screen

the two men were trying

to dart each other

with used needles

They dodged, they leapt,

they flung more needles

but these made poor projectiles,

too light, badly balanced

though still a potential

death sentence

if you got someone

just so

It was a duel

fired by fury

or, more likely, thought Ray,

a duel

fueled by love.


(thanks to RW for this story)

Black Butterfly


The boy murders minnows

with handfuls of wet sand

on the bank

many minnows will die today

so I climb a slope

to get away

I feel like

the king of California

up there

the sea, a kayaker

too far out

and the people on the beach

too close

The cala lilies

are in full flower now

white flesh open

to the black butterflies

which alight

flit off

and land

on the next

and the next.

The Reprieve


“It’s like a sobriety

get out of jail free card!”

I told myself, my friends,

everyone but my sponsor

“Waiting my whole life

for this shit to happen,”

in my Plymouth Duster

before a bleak horizon

me and “her”

post-punk, red lipstick

shotgun, flame thrower

whiskey highway

I drank 3 days straight

There was no “her”

I couldn’t drive

The pills made me sick

I woke up

and yes, the shit

had really

hit the fan.

5 Poems from Jon Bennett

Jon Bennett, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Big Wheel


We were 13 and had 2 liters

of watermelon wine cooler

because of Tim, a dude

who’d give you $5

if he could take your picture

with no shirt on

“No touching…”

or give you some weed

“No touching…”

though some kids

left his place with a $20

Anyhow, we were lit

“Rasberry’s better,” I said

“Gimme,” said Dave

“You gonna puke?”


We went down The Path

which cut between the houses

“Hey, lookee,” said Dave

There was a Big Wheel

in a backyard

“Yeah,” I said

I slipped in and got it

and we took turns

riding it like crazy people

It was funny because

just a few years before

me and Dave took our Big Wheels

very seriously

but now it was, like,


Then the police came

“What!?” said Dave

“Don’t run,” said one cop

“It’s reported stolen,” said the other

They put it in their trunk

and brought us back to the house

The Big Wheel was covered in mud

and me and Dave

had to hose it down

in the people’s front yard,

their little boy

watching us

eyes wide

like it was the most

amazing thing

he’d ever seen.


The Elf in the Basement


I put my vegetable scraps

in a big pickle jar

and dump them in the compost bin

I don’t do it for the planet

it keeps the roaches down

When I open the compost bin

there’re some bug eggs

and larvae

and always at the bottom

vegetable scraps in plastic bags

I guess my neighbor doesn’t have

a big pickle jar

but the bin says, “No Plastic Bags”

in several languages

Anyhow, my studio stinks

so I go over to CT’s

She has an old fashioned flat

with a garbage shoot in the kitchen

Everything goes down the shoot

bottles, cans, cigarette butts,

egg shells, broken appliances

tampons, vomit, more

bottles and cans

“You don’t recycle?” I ask CT

“There’s a guy down there!” she says,

“he sorts it! I’ve seen him!”

Then she dumps another

bucket of vomit, cat shit, dog shit,

asbestos, sulfuric acid

and one Diet Pepsi can

down the shoot

“Out of sight, out of

your mind,” I say

“Fuck you!” says CT

and she’s right

we’re all fucked.




I hate him

the guy with the dog

always talking right wing crap

and to who?

the Nigerian security guard,

the deli clerk from Palestine

the lady with MS who stays at the shelter

They nod, smile, I don’t know

maybe they agree with him

Today I overheard him say,

“I wake up, I’m just glad

I don’t have to

kill anyone today.

I come down here,

have a coffee, it’s nice.”

He’s an old fucker

in his 80s, and his dog

can hardly walk, but

they make it down here every day

“I was in Southeast Asia, Somalia,

then back to Southeast Asia,” he said,

“killing folks was just a job,

you have to be able to

turn it off, especially

at night.”

Then he didn’t say anything

he just sat there

trying to get the dog to eat

some cold cuts

Later, I passed them on the sidewalk

that dog has a bad hip or something

and was leaning against a building

the man waited, holding the leash

but the dog collapsed on its side

so the old man picked up

the injured old dog

and carried him

back home.


Walk Ins Welcome


There were 2 sunny side eggs

staring at me from the griddle

and I couldn’t stand it

I plated them

“Order up!”

Quiet, 3:33 a.m.

a few old men

and they’d be there for hours

“Checking inventory, Alice!” I said

The waitress was named Alice

which was funny, but

I was sick, at least

getting there

Our walk-in freezer was

my personal North Pole

which made me Santa

I sat on a bucket of mayonnaise

and rolled up my sleeve

the cold made my veins stand up

like the stripes on a candy cane

and as I drove the needle home

I knew Christmas

had finally arrived.


Colonel Corn


The Colonel got home

and took a razor

to the black tar heroin

he tasted it


This was not good,

it wasn’t the kind of candy

he was after

He donned his SS uniform

put on his armband

duct taped a swastika

to a mop stick

and crossed the street

to the projects

where his connection lived

“You #@&%*!” he shouted

goose-stepping in front

of the apartment block,

which was difficult

due to an abscess

on his right foot

“Get out of here, motherfucker!”

someone retorted

soon others joined in

The Colonel stood and listened

an easy target

from all those

darkened windows

but no bullet came

and again his survival

was entirely dependent

on the goodwill

of man.

Bio: Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find his work on music streaming sites such as Pandora and Spotify or by connecting with him on Facebook at

There there by Andrea Hasko-Marx

there there

4 Poems by Jon Bennett

Jon Bennett, Noir, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Dealer Wins


The 21 dealer sees me staring

and glances over his shoulder

The girl comes over to him

“I’m punching out,” she says,

“see you at home.”

She’s a beauty and

works in the restaurant

“Did she say

beat you at home’?”

yells the pit boss

We all laugh but

the dealer is nonplussed

He’s got a sort of Desi Arnaz

thing going, and he knows it

He smiles

and hands me another 12

against his

one eyed jack.

Lake City


I met a lady named Stormy,

a guy named Shady

and an ex-football player named Muddy

all in the same day

Lake City has weather worries

Muddy almost made it to the NFL

but 2 helmets collided

with his hand as the baloney

in the sandwich

“Caught my hand sideways,” said Muddy,

“not flat.”

He held up his hand

and we looked at it

“They sent me to a sports surgeon in Oahu,

he fixed me up and that’s when

I decided to become a surgeon, too.

But then the same thing

happened again.”

“To the same hand?”

“Yep. Sideways, crushed it up good.

No being a surgeon for me.”

I imagined the bones in his hand

looked like those

of the dried up fish

dotting the shoreline.

As he rang me up

he looked out the window,

the water was surging,

the clouds were ripening

“Hmm,” he said,

“looks like rain

again today.”

8ft Satan


“He hid in the closet

but every hour

he’d come out,

and snap my bones

and bite my face!” said Teddy

Teddy was Pentecostal

so his DTs involved

an 8ft Satan

made of snakes

“The old men would tell me

about the DTs,” he said,

“but I never really had them

until then.”

“I’ve never had them,” I said

and looked at the jug

of cheap red wine,

“but,” I said,

“there’s yet time.”

Even Trees


Could be peaches

or plums

these trees,

all the same height

as if they had

a crew cut,

snipped leaves

reaching for

the same place

as me

these many years,

call it

the sun.

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 websites, or by connecting with him at or

jon bennett new.jpg

4 Poems by Jon Bennett

Indie, Jon Bennett, Poetry, post punk, Punk Noir Magazine

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


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…”


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 The pictured album “Darling” has not yet been released, it’s available through physical copies only at


3 Poems by Jon Bennett

Jon Bennett, Music, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Where It Goes

I moved into a spare room

in a lady’s house in El Segundo

She had one of those music zines

I don’t remember the name

and she had stacks of CDs

that people sent her,

fat manila envelopes

mostly unopened

heaped in a broom closet.

She had a cat named ‘Vodka’

which was malnourished

and incontinent

and when it pissed on the carpet

she’d lock it in the broom closet

for days on end.

I loved that cat

even though it pissed

all over the music

I and 100s of others

had sent there.

Heave To

(for Elliott Smith)

Rudder lashed to sail

he knew he’d sink

if it got too rough

my man

with the guitar

He was all clean by then

just Him, Himself, and He

the luffing sails

tied to his own mast

and the storm was his storm

and the thunder his thunder

but the lightning

still burned

and in the end

he tore

himself to shreds.

Check Out Time


Innocuous enough

pack of smokes

but he only smoked

when he drank, so

he got a bottle

And he only did heroin

when the bottle let him down

which it always did.

The best motels sounded like

funeral parlors

Shady Acres, Serenity Pines

the problem was

check out time,

passing out at 8am

and needing to vacate by 11

so he’d get the room

for two nights

or even 3

if things

were looking

real good.

jon bennett