Sunday 23 July 2023

Three Poems by Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter


Every Day


Read Shakespeare every day.  Pray to the gods of

appetite for sustenance.  Grant favours to all who ask.

Obey thy heart, carefully.  Stay true.  Observe the

clouds as they pass overhead.  Let the rains rain

down on thy soul (thy soul is thy body is thy mind

is thy heart).  Be strong, be nice.  Don’t go out with-

out your hat and sunglasses, or vice versa, your

slickers.  ‘It’s the final countdown’ so count down

backwards from one hundred and don’t think of

beer bottles or walls or where you left off last time

or what it’s going to be like once the bus arrives

because then none of this matters anymore and

is lost to infinity, which is whole lot.  If you look

back, you’re toast, burnt to a crisp in the spot you

pivoted because you can’t go forward if you’re

looking back unless you’re walking backwards but

then you can’t see where you’re going and you

may stumble and fall and hit your head.  You’ll

be  prone, face up, watching clouds go by, sun

shining directly in your eyes which if you don’t

close them and stare will make you go blind so

close them, or, rather, don’t look back in the first

place.  Or, if you please, stop, turn around, look

for a while, then turn around and proceed. You’ll

have had your look and you may contemplate it

but you’ll be headed forward “with eyes wide

open” (Tempest).  Don’t forget your sunglasses

and hat, or, alternatively, your slickers. Wear

good shoewear every day.


Equality of Day


Through the grid, it’s green and blue.  Iggy wants

coffee and is making a scene because of far too

much mischief.  Toes point skyward but everything

is held down by the ceiling.  A whole lot of heat

is trapped up there between the interior and the

exterior.  There’s no theme.  There are themes

but they emerge over time.  You see it’s a process

which may or may not end in products.  There’s

much waste.  Much, much waste.  Some one,

many ones are going down.  Some are lost.  What

does come forth is so lucky it’s beat the house odds.

The bells are ringing.  It’s better than enlightenment.

It’s alive.  That’s your name.  But you already knew

that.  You were already there and none of us

would've been here without you.  Equality of awe

in the equality of day.


They Jump


There’s water in the air that’s blowing around.

The shades are drawn down to temper the light. 

Once you draw them down, there’s a strip of

green that marks the room, the room where we

dwell in the evening, all night, and into the morn-

ing.  Rooms carry us through.  Then we cross their

thresholds to other rooms, passageways, and doors

to the outside. More doors.  More passageways. 

More rooms. Many rooms.  Many, many, rooms. 

There’s a place for you that’s been prepared.  You

can pick: this one or that one, which one would

you prefer?  It’s someone else’s house but we’re

staying here.  We’re taking care of their dogs, and

they like it.  We could take them to our house, but

it’s just pandemonium.


They jump on our bed

They jump on our bed


They jump

They jump


They jump on our bed (3x)


It’s better here – see how big it is?  Would you

like some dessert?  We have cookie or key lime

pie, but the cookie is for you to take with you. 

Would you like half a key lime or a whole?  They

are very small.  Tom and I can split one.  See I

already started mine earlier.

Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter, PhD, MA, teaches at a public university in North America and consults/coaches at Sollars & Associates and independently.  Bennett-Carpenter is the author of Death in Documentaries (Brill) and Explaining Jesus (Rowman & Littlefield).  His poems have appeared in Superpresent, Book of Matches, and the Kitchen Table Quarterly.  He co-edits Cruel Garters, a contemporary poetry publication.  


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