AN N E X     P R E S S      2 0 1 5 

STEVE BENSON     05 11 15

    So we collaborate with each other, not the enemy
Each other’s eyes offering a well of kindness
          spirit and solidity             The actual liquid is remote
down in the bottom            A bucket breaks the surface
                                              An intoxication takes over
an hour’s leisure to permeate futurity by fiat
    Each rule is an opportunity to buck the tide

Some way one had not previously tried
                          The words make me breathe pith  –
gut clenched leaning  ahead  as  I  stagger over
       I turn it all over, then turn it upside down
the effect is staggering,    I mean liberating
What I was about to say is contradictory
but of course after all it doesn’t exist
Nor does frost nor snow nor sunlight nor you
       Only the impossible can be reckoned
accessible to attention  –  the glare of a marsh
       filters everything through a stale violence
it’s too late to learn from, too hard to detect
an ear within, too blankly luminous to see
there’s no end to it          Stick a thermometer in
my mouth, so others can talk freely before
            I race in and tackle all that’s in my way
    to reach what they call home for me.   I call home
this empty place in the universe where self dwells
turning it into an antidote to hate and annihilation
                at the risk of causing ruckus to the millionaires
                                       at the height of a police detective
in heat                 championing the underdog’s safe bet
between daggery eyes and a nose of polished stone
the lost civilization of the Resistance adheres to the dust
In the office of the chiropractor I read of mites
who inhabit it as well as pores of the face
who virtually create the soil and possibly
the soul, by biting, chewing, metabolizing and
                     pushing back out through their bodies
We feed each other.    A table set for four makes
sense to the assembled.  Permutations on hugs
and kissing, bodies rotate in feeling space  –

feeling themselves align & change directions
a line in the snow disappears in the spring
to be human is to know yourself change
       with the seasons, without reason
as if by chance, necessity makes itself fall
through us (everyone), not so much a limit
as it is the crucial opportunity to make change
matter.  Yet people think their ideas universal

easily blaming those who do not want to under-
stand and help in tweaking parties.  My idea
is a sieve. Whether there is such a thing as a mind
is ambiguous.  It would be fun to go somewhere


I can see myself think . Or listen. Disappointment vs.
infuriated  –  choose your poison.   The clock stops

me from touching you. It separates the minutes
I didn’t ask to be alienated. In fact, it seemed
the only way to connect, if that were to be
possible as I might dream it. Threadbare aphorisms

don’t help you reconcile to me or vice versa.
I don’t want to see a full stop at the very end
of a line that really will snake back to
begin to continue as though nothing happened

I betray my better nature, my true intentions, one way
or another, if only by being less than secretive
I open the door to the enemy, presuming there’s


an answer to the question embodied in his knock
and if the stars no longer appear in the night sky
our worship will devolve upon each other if not
on the catastrophe of insensate violence and death

offered on every buffet. Experimental poetry is in
knots, rummaging through a plethora of elbows
and asses to distinguish if not truth, beauty
then economy and quality, efficiency and
a new propriety your mother would know



[04 07 – 04 30 2015]