STEVE BENSON           04 13 15

Ducks   shot at  on a  rowboat, solid ice
two or three boys standing by the side of the road
This nowhere has to go             Rather I drift off
or walking, heads down, listening to a song
the dial                       An end in sight
they murmur without meaning to, unconsciously
                  And there’s another! A rowboat
              No one can join them
slides across my field of vision
No one can separate them            from this landscape
     Absence of mate: the heart gropes for foundation
color and noise                       It seems the planet
The boat founders on shoals found way out at sea
Earth is everywhere          leaves in all directions
                                No cheap tricks   please

         a mind surrounded by rubber bands
               Scattered like autumn at the seashore
scoundrels and sycophants                       you and me
wet thickening in decay                 no matter
our  eyes  tied  together with nots strangling identities
     Only very temporarily is  mass mass
but all the same we are glad to be home
A sense of temporality   like   layered  gunk
         where the categories don’t matter anymore

all identities becoming elastic and simultaneous
murky with portent.  Our nation informally
since we eat out of the same bucket
declares total war on an ersatz excuse
          Ghostly children, also ourselves, climb in the trees
for  a  would-be  state,  itself  more  powerful
fall to the ground disguised as leaves, apples, snow
in its magnetism and lethality than drugs
           Words make  me  dizzy.   I love
or entertainments we could throw at it
the apprehension before things change

as  they  always  change
         What are we discovering?  What are we doing
           differently  from  how I’d expect

       The effort and the angle turn me, listening
Meanings and continuities advance toward the verge
into  the  ear  of  the  shell,  to  water
of annihilation in the gap between ciphers and lost
                    where I belong,             to the current
          to the tides             I welcome            longing
One good thing about rain – you can hear it. Not snow
to disconnect                to be alone             in raptures
     Keep it simple, humble, local, momentary – I agree.
“Where do you get off?” I hear them say

                  Alone on the hill in the season
Words fill up space fast.  You don’t  know what hit
when soldiers of fortune pop out of the meadow
   you when the crash triggers the air bags
with increasing descriptive specificity
       An empty pause in a luxury apartment lasts eons
       the world (her) heaving on the brink of her (its)
a togetherness without context, or nothing to attend
                    expulsive   wish
            Civilization and its disconnects, unearthed
which might be a wish to die                 a wish to live

on, to survive, despite everything                in code
      in a field of ambiguous organization,   a   meadow
        the meaning’s oblique  anyway
with   oddly shaped plots  of raw earth  and  stones,
and  not  for   sale.    It’s no one’s property
     to one side a row of sunflowers, bordered
          neither female nor male                  to die for
by grasses growing taller daily, maybe alfalfa
a mission greater than one’s understanding

sneakers on the wires                              boxers on

[02 19 – 03 09 2015]


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