April 03, 2007

Growing Up

One part’s abstract-- listening
to an underground river clearing
its throat in the desert & thinking
about the Yucca tapping their roots

down to those drops-- &
the other part’s a scene
from a movie: waking up
to a pale moon in half-

morning light feeling the tip
of a knife at your throat, and
just before hearing him say,
there’s a scorpion on your neck;
I’m going to flick it into

the fire thinking I guess
this is it, he’s finally going
to do it.
On one side
of this is hearing the sharp

sizzle of a scorpion
in flames; on the other
is the rest
of your life.

—Rick Benjamin

Posted by dwaber at 12:13 PM

April 02, 2007

Two Arts

My old last name
nearly rhymed
with taxidermy.

Rhymes with “attorney”
my mother would say
to anyone who asked how
to pronounce it.

& If my sister’s life
had been hers
to draw up
she’d be a lawyer

today, not just someone
who meditated for twenty
years in the middle
of a forest never making

a name for herself. She should
have used her head for something else
besides a hair garden
, mother says.

My sister’s name still rhymes
with attorney. If you take out
the “t” in the word poverty
and put an “n” in its place

that’s how you spell it.
It’s not that hard
to change your name.
You fill out some forms

& they put an ad in the paper
in case you’re changing it
for the wrong reasons.
The rest is like blowing

air through a pipe & making
a glass bubble.
Or that other art,

bringing back to nearly
life some dead form,
performing that act
of animation.

—Rick Benjamin

Posted by dwaber at 04:12 PM