john bennett | the silent treatment

16 09 2011

POETRY DISPATCH No.352 | September 16, 2011

The Silent Treatment
John Bennett

Sitting around
Ferlinghetti’s
apartment
over his
print shop
on upper Green
almost
40 years ago
after Bukowski’s
first
City Lights
reading
with Ferlinghetti
Bukowski
Rip Torn &
a host of
minions
someone said
Bukowski
you’re the
only one
who’s
done it &
I said
no one’s
done it
or we
wouldn’t
still be
trying to
do it &
Ferlinghetti said
the Beats
did it.

The Beats?
I said.
Kerouac?
Ginsberg?
Ferlinghetti?
But then,
you’re Ferlinghetti
aren’t you.

The room
got very
still &
Bukowski
smiled
down into
his beer
cradled on
his great
protrusion
of gut
& said
Now you’ve
done it
Bennett.

Ferlinghetti
stared at
me with
ice blue
eyes
that said
we’re
going to
silence you.

Which they
never did.


John Bennett

Battle Scars

John Bennett

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Cover art by Henry Denander.

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