STEVEN BENSON       04  12  15

A N N E X    P R E S S     2 0 1 5

Having done one thing and  decided  to  stop  I

     do  another.   I turn the book upside down

and write in  here  without talking about today
      Ducks   shot at  on a  rowboat, solid ice
  in particular  or  what  I  feel  or  who  I  am
This nowhere has to go             Rather I drift off
     but  mixing  fiction  with  nonfiction
the dial                       An end in sight
if what is said about me is true
                  And there’s another! A rowboat
        the way it flows without telling me
slides across my field of vision
meaning  or  intention  or  the  point
     Absence of mate: the heart gropes for foundation
   “flows”                   rolling with the resistance
The boat founders on shoals found way out at sea
         Excuse me while I feel paralyzed
                                No cheap tricks   please
 “‘flows’”   We excuse ourselves to step unwittingly
           a mind surrounded by rubber bands
               into  the  blue               ocean  of  your  eyes
scoundrels and sycophants                       you and me
       we  feel  recognized            you  realize
our  eyes  tied  together with nots strangling identities
the  sky  is  tar,  a  hue  imagined
but all the same we are glad to be home
                because  it  feels  that  way
         where the categories don’t matter anymore
Trash  floats  along  the  beltway
all identities becoming elastic and simultaneous
             a ribbon of foam crosses the floor
since we eat out of the same bucket
         vapid hammerlock forces the issue
          Ghostly children, also ourselves, climb in the trees
into penury  –  worthless labor exhausts energy
fall to the ground disguised as leaves, apples, snow
            Don’t try to destroy your worth, only
           Words make  me  dizzy.   I love
              your false reputation.   The answers lie
the apprehension before things change
in  hmility,  solitude,  and  adhesiveness  anyway
as  they  always  change
     way  deeper  than  that              that  torn
           differently  from  how I’d expect
briefs                        shirt label                     index
      The effort and the angle turn me, listening
        finger worming its way into sticky
into  the  ear  of  the  shell,  to  water
habitation of the silk worm                       repeating
                    where I belong,             to the current
                   the image of a man of private parts
           to the tides             I welcome            longing
            an  ingenious  start  for  a  work  that  can
to disconnect                to be alone             in raptures
never  be  finished
“Where do you get off?” I hear them say
                      Words  make   me  sick.     I am dissa-
                 Alone on the hill in the season
pointed  in  love  –  the  kind  of  mating
when soldiers of fortune pop out of the meadow
        I  want  to  do       I  need  to  do
with increasing descriptive specificity
        wholesale  acceptance  or  no  sale  at  all
       the world (her) heaving on the brink of her (its)
surrender,  mutual           Why am I telling you
                    expulsive   wish
           secrets             Let  there  be  no  secrets
which might be a wish to die                 a wish to live
between us except that which  I  tell  no  one
on, to survive, despite everything                in code
        the  contours               hold an insane rhythm
        the meaning’s oblique  anyway
words tell me          his voice touches
and  not  for   sale.    It’s no one’s property
                   on the wrist               arched back mid-
          neither female nor male                  to die for
air                I could use some help in heating this
a mission greater than one’s understanding
body  once  the  clothes  are  taken  off  and
sneakers on the wires                              boxers on
the  wind  picks  up              sliding

    as  though  the  world  were  a  chute

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