VOICES FROM THE FIRE: Jon Bennett

He Just Took It 

At around 25 yrs old I called Dad 

and yelled at him out for an hour 

I don’t know what I said 

all I remember is 

he didn’t protest 

he just took it 

I think most of the internet  

is like that 

a younger generation 

screaming 

Sometimes I might  

have a question 

about an acronym  

or a new noun 

but I keep quiet 

they’ve got a lot  

to get off their chests 

and would love to find 

a dad 

any old dad 

to lay into. 

I Am With You 

We get along fine 

me and the man 

with the mangled face 

“School turns us stupid!” he says 

I nod, I agree 

and he is my brother 

Lately, I’ve come to see it 

all the mangled faced men 

all the nieces and nephews 

who can’t decide if they’re 

nieces  

or nephews 

all the obese shut-ins 

aiming guns at themselves 

all the girls and the women 

and the boys and the men 

sobbing in the mirror 

I am with you 

my outside 

doesn’t match  

my inside 

either. 

Cheap Shots 

“I’ll start with 

a bald-faced simile, 

see if anyone  

swallows the hook” 

I always go for the easy joke 

the simple sentiment 

the simpler moral 

I give no fucks about truth 

and I don’t know 

what you mean by ‘beauty’ 

but that’s not to say 

I don’t cry over these 

all the same.

Sue 

I wrote a song 

and named names 

whether the names I named 

were actual names 

or made up names 

I’m not at liberty to say 

I’ve made many dimes 

off music 

all told 

after expenses  

and thirty years  

5 or 6 hundred 

dimes 

Now, at night I lay in bed 

my jar of dimes 

under it 

and quail at the thought 

someone will sue me 

the lawyers will take 

my jar of dimes 

smash me over the head with it 

and remove what little 

sanity I have left. 

Opiates are the Opiates of the Masses 

I liked it at first, 

they killed chickens in the bathroom 

it was ‘exotic’ 

but small, so small 

just me and my laptop 

So I found pill corner 

and coke corner 

and all the other corners 

lined up easy 

as Tijuana pharmacias 

just another lonely loser 

like all those  

popping pills in trailer parks, 

pick-up trucks, penthouses 

living in  

an American dream. 

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