Stephen Bennett

Rookie - 20 Points (June 1949 / Quincy, Massachusetts)

Six Perfect Poems - Poem by Stephen Bennett

1. Perfect Connection

If I could make it collect from this
phone through
a live operator, person
to person to the number of another phone
next to my own.
And when that operator I talked to
announces the call has been
placed to someone
with my name, I can say
'I am he!
I accept the charge.'
and then let both
the receivers

2. Perfect Response

one might ask what this could be
a figure for: two open listening ends with
a connection that starts
from their handsets and goes back
through their dialing units, their lines
and jacks... through miles and miles
of suspended wires, poles hung
and underground, all the way
into the master switch in turn
reaching back out through the two
completed circuits like two long
impossibly long waiting and forever stretching
arms reaching far out, holding on
to and carrying out a potential conversation,
which does not take place.
and you may feel as I do
when I imagine this
how can something touch me
so deeply inside while
at the same time
else is all gone.

3. Perfect Knowing

I know who wrote those last two
I know what he's saying and I know
what he means totally

and exactly what he's going to say next
and I know what he is thinking about so very desperately
anxious to think of something, anything else.

4. Perfect Reply

I don't hurt for that, but I do hurt
for what began from that, being unable
to go ahead nor trace any way back
with no way to imagine where I might
be as opposed to
where I actually am.

I have just recently begun to talk again
and I must be saying something every time
I open my mouth and everyone else
all shuts up.

5. Perfect Reasoning

Here is what you do, not
the place you do it in...
with all of its bearings and ranges.
Here is not the ground nor the neighborhood.
Here is not the sky nor the weather.

No No... Here is what you do, and what you do
is what you are.
Here is what you are
standing, seeing, thinking and remembering
joins into a context of being all
ready to do most of the must do things
you so take for granted,
And now look out! There
you go.

Perfect Questioning

Touching these key tone buttons again
and again to another busy signal that doesn't end...
Are we hitting the right sequence yet?
Is the party... anybody home?
Should we just go over there? No.
I think its too far and the busy line says
someone ought to be there, and they
could leave as we come. So we keep trying
and trying because we must
do everything we can
to make something ring somewhere.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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