john bennett | the black blood of dinosaurs

25 05 2010

PoetryDispatch No. 321 | May 25, 2010


Editor’s Note: There is so much anger in me over the oil spill in the Gulf I can’t stand to hear or read another word about it. I know I am not alone trying to deal with this rage.

In a few weeks I will be teaching my annual Writing Workshop at The Clearing, here in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin where I have not so much ‘taught’ as presented my sense of the writer’s life for over thirty years. The theme of this year’s workshop is “The Writer and the Bigger Picture.” Major study includes: Carolyn Forche’, Nadine Gordimer, Tim O’Brien. I suspect you know where I am headed with this theme.

I prefaced my description of the course this year with a quote from Pablo Neruda: “From the Inca to the Indian, from the Aztec to the contemporary Mexican peasant, our homeland America has magnificent mountains, rivers, deserts and mines rich in minerals. Yet the inhabitants of this generous land live in great poverty. What then should be the poet’s duty?” (Italics mine).

John Bennett has always known precisely what the poet’s duty is in both poetry and prose. His brilliant ‘shards’ (a new collection of these gems recently released, DRIVE BY ) are evidence enough. So too the poem below, (a likely candidate for class study) where, with a single image, John skillfully raises the mundane, preachy aspect of the “poetry of politics,” turning anger into art. —Norbert Blei

The Black Blood of Dinosaurs

John Bennett

Two memorial
services in
one day after
mowing half
the lawn, a
20-minute nap
that turned into
three hours,
sitting on
the hill
drinking coffee
with darkness
coming on
while 2,000
miles south the
Gulf of
fills with
the black blood
of dinosaurs.

Both John’s new novel, Children of the Sun & Earth and Drive By are now available by credit card from the Hcolom Press web page by clicking here…