Poetry Dispatch No. 249 | August 12, 2008
Two for a Day
from John Bennett
Note from the Editor:
Put a little John Bennett in your life.
You will be better for it. Live it.
Books at: Hcolompress
High-energy Young Ladies
Make sense of a sunbeam, calculate a wave, calibrate a wolf howl, draw lines in the dust, go grim with a rifle defending the motherland, fatherland, land on your feet and start running, the hounds bay and the fox hunt is on.
Back and forth between the particular and the germane like a praying mantis lost in a butcher shop, cowboys and cowgirls riding side-saddle into the arena, gladiators peering through slits in spiked helmets, who do you love?
Is it me, could it possibly be after all these years of false starts, heaps of gutted crab piled high in the corner?
I’ve got things gone amiss in life, a granddaughter gone astray, a lover with her arms crossed in a pout, a trick knee, heart, pony, imagination off in the ditch, tangled in carnage and confetti.
I wake with a whistle, slap my head and hop to it, I’ve still got a trick up my sleeve. Secrets intact I skip out the door into my rat-trap conveyance and with lights blinking red all around me roar off. “Java, java, java,” I think, my life reduced to a coffee bean. “Plunk your magic twanger,” I think, my vocabulary shrouded in code, ancient kid shows on the radio displacing Nietzsche and Kant.
Hi-ho, hi-ho, off we go with the first cigarette of the day burning bright like a blowtorch between my once kissable lips.
The first rig at the drive-thru, the glass slides back and there they are, three blond, dark and tall beauties, a wild crazy perfection that drops death to its knees.
“Ho!” I sing out and trigger delight in them. They all three dance and glide to the window like goldfish in a pond, as if we’d just met in a dream.
“What’ll it be?” says the tall one, and “Yes indeed!” I say. “What will it be!” Then we’re lost for words as the universe sings all around us.
I drive off with a 20-oz. drip and pass a row of pink, red and white hollyhocks along an old wooden fence just as the sun rises up over the ridge. I burst out in song and for a moment have the world by the tail.
A Day in the Life
Here’s a message from god. A glimpse behind the curtain. A tour guide through the seven dancing veils. An eye opener, a spine tingler, a twist of lemon. This can’t go on forever. The ink runs out, the paper turns brittle and bursts into flame, the alarm malfunctions.
This morning three laughing girls at a coffee-house drive-up set my heart dancing and launched me into the day. Twenty minutes ago and thirteen hours later there was only one girl left at the window, and she’d been there all day. I’d just woken up from a nap full of bad dreams and she was pulling a triple shift. The dance was gone from our eyes. We exchanged courtesies at the end of the transaction and I drove off.
Now I’m sitting in my car on the overlook at the top of this hill, last light in the sky, an entire lifetime lived in a day.