Stephen Bennett

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

Speechless - Poem by Stephen Bennett

I think in saying the name
of a letter “F” “H”
or “S”
an embodiment of spirit in
a sound of the breath
lifting or lowering of volume
behind random “O” mouthed calls,
screeches, chirps... growls sometimes
I think must have been the sound of the background
around a mind of thought if it were here...
centuries back before now.
I think that, because I notice just now
in the mix of it this afternoon.
But also there’s what I’m sure sounds like
the tires and engines
of a nearby highway and
the much closer streets or, I think,
almost like an audience of little folks
in a very long round of applause
with little noise makers or
using parts of their bodies to make
claps, farts, whistles and screams... thousands..
no billions and billions
of them. They’re very little. Only
they’re in a barrel or
an unburied ditch-side sewer pipe.
I wonder if all of my mind made verbiage
may to God, sound like some part
of the cosmicly endless background
the way all of this all sounds to me.
What’s to my mind so personal, unique
and particular, could really be like
the same thing over and over,
and God thinks and is speaking everything I hear
so seemingly random and empty,
like the silliness I speak into
my lap dog’s warm ears must seem,
but I know my dog knows... it means
and although it doesn’t mean that much,
in a certain important way, what the dog doesn’t
know about it, could more truly
be like an all-there-is... like another all
that is between my mind and God.

I Know You’ll Probably Talk Through It

This is the song my friend and I played on a Heath Kit
home made component stereo, when a bag
of Wise potato chips costing fifty nine cents could be
eaten by us two in an afternoon and no one
would complain and the girls in school
and Sunday Youth Group were just starting to turn good,
and “hip” was a brand new word and it referred to me
and him, and we both knew everyone else
was all wrong, and any wrong that we were was
really right, and if anyone wanted to know “what’s new? ”
they’d come to us always and always always we were
ready to go. We’d tell just the best girls maybe one
or two lucky guys what was the happening thing,
and soon it would be all over then we’d make it old
as something new would come round, but we
were never got close to going out, but Wise chips
worked, and I just thought I wanted to play this song
for you by this group I turned everyone else on to,
but I think it’s likely better to play it alone
and dream you here, listening in.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 5, 2010

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