Stephen Bennett

Rookie - 9 Points (June 1949 / Quincy, Massachusetts)

Space - Poem by Stephen Bennett

1.
when my fist crossed her head
she said, "I can't see! "
I said,
"I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry
My God I'm so sorry."
She said, "Don't
touch me."

2.

"See Prince Bulbo.
See his glorious train so elegant"
or something like that began
Thackery's tale, "The Rose and the Ring"
as I was thinking something important along,
she lurked in the living room reading on
and interrupted me with this very wonderful
marvelous thing in that our prince fell asleep
with both of his boots still on his feet, "which you
my children must never do." She couldn't stop
reading it to me, and when she got hungry
and wanted to eat, she offered to make soup
if I would read. As her circling spoon chased
after our swirling broth's path, Prince Bulbo worked
out his entire destiny. She gave me my bowl and read,
and I read to her again as she ate, and we
finished the the whole story late in the night.
With the book closed we turned off the light,
years before her dream of Sara came to earth
with Nicholas' name, in the bed of my parents
alone and secure, we were
the children then.

3.

it always got done...
no matter which part came hard, or which
one nearly impossible to stop... feeling good
can be tough work... once done and
each has what they need, want or can get
comes then the alone, the very best kind
of alone unbothered, not called for, just all
by yourself, with someone else warm,
wanting now just to be there,
and all of the thoughts like little creatures
gathering around a dark pool to drink
and I never noticed the last to come in
before the next thing I'd know,
when a new day would begin.

4.

I dreamt I followed you along the Mass Pike
to upstate all the way and found the cost
was too much to pay and woke up to find
all of it really happened that way.
But I said, "It could have gone on
forever, if you didn't want it to end.
I didn't want to begin it. I couldn't tell
you again. This your decision. I'd
still be there." She says, "It's all your
problem. I don't really care."
When I heard that I didn't feel
like a jerk. If I could have known
she could just say that, I wouldn't
have worried. It all could have worked.

5.

All right, so there actually was one time
when everything worked. We were camped out
in Maine in a woods filled with French Canadians
watching battery TVs, and everything I was doing
was doing it right. I thought she might be
ready to scream, and we
were just out of their sight
on buggy ground beneath starry night
and the thought to do it like that
had been mine. She didn't know
wasn't sure. I said, "You'll see." and she
ruined it by saying she loved it, just
because it was me.
And what came from my mind
to her was still basically nothing.
But I didn't know what I had.
Neither did she.
And now I guess there's you...
whoever you are listening to me.
I'm just talk talk talking away
to whomever. To you, but you
you are such silence... a silence
so loud all my noise is drowned out.
Yet listen.
Always there is something to hear.
Is there not even now a sound
like the sound of a stream of water
running along so many miles from here?
But I've been given to understand that
it is just the blood rushing through
the membranes of my ear.
What a strange thing to hear...
the sound of your own life happening
behind so many small conversations
inside this strange... darkly beautiful
and continually opening space.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 2, 2010

Poem Edited: Monday, February 27, 2012


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