3 Poems by Jennifer Benningfield

SHE IS NOT A MACHINE

She’s not manic
Not a pixie
But one out of three isn’t bad
If we’re talking baseball
However
We are not talking baseball

She’s a monster
Paralyzed alongside the grandest architecture
She’s a panic
Tongue-tied amid sumptuous rows of steam

Her conception was an example of superb calligraphy
Her murder, a nasty ink smear
Her father drank as much as Kerouac, and wrote equally grossly
Crisp blue-orange word-cover
Rich froth of hillbilly crudity
Well-rehearsed ill behavior

No one ever paid him for it, though, so
He stayed put
Stayed “good”
Never roamed
Never realized America is
3000 miles of land best divided into

“Places Where People Built A Lotta Shit”

 and

“Places Where People Ain’t Built a Lotta Shit Yet”

The carnival rides were not double-bolted
The casualties are too terrible to consider
Mosquitoes come, come to feast


A THOUSAND BEDSHEETS

Spoiler alert:  man is alive, woman has survived.  

Staying grounded after 90 years doing what you love is integral

Lest one become blase
Incapable of distinguishing ceiling from floor
Lest one suddenly
Not give whit one about encroaching cognitive dissonance

The world is old
We are all old
I liked it better when we were all Devo
Shit rolls downhill
And it is overcrowded in the valley

Fingers rain against 
Discover less a pulse 
More an arrhythmic assessment nonpareil of the prevailing spirit situation
I suppose I shook the first time 

An immaculate ruckus stirred with rotted wooden spoons
Obdurate, yet unpretentious (Big words, yet little meaning)  
Spark the air to alight the fight against the flight of memory

“A certain boy” searching for allies via incantatory sidewalk sermons
His pain is very real
Very detrimental to exclamatory art

Banjos!  Bongos!  Bells! 
Guitars kitted up with unequal strings and self-destructing pickups!
Xylophones!  Power drills!
Thrown into a clutch
It’s nothing much

I stand still, a dazzle in a drizzle
Besotted temporarily by the potential real world value of glitter
Dripping honey to the ground for the the licking (not the looking)
Killjoys beware! 
Killers rejoice!


THIS COLOR IN THAT SHAPE

Professional Summary
I am me, lowercase. Lowercase me is of the uppermost. I am a synthesis of gall and gallantry. The impact I make upon an organization is similar to that of a flood of bricks striking a tower of eggs. Every other worker in the vicinity will appear to have the concision of a drunken lap dancer, and the forcefulness of a deathbed whisper.

Highlights
–I advance docilely towards goals, be they short- or long-term.
–Plunging recklessly into turbid waters.
–Generally: personal magnetism. Specifically: haunting green eyes that make my gaze among the most mesmerizing currently, and an intelligence that inspires admiration rather than alienation.

Work Experience
–Close to three decades of landscape prettification.

–Three years in a love affair that got down and dirty yet cleaned up nice and pretty.

Education
–My linguistics professor told me (and several others also in the room at the time) the following: “The secret is distillation, rather than dilution.”

–Archaic forms of entertainment (shadow puppets, books, game shows) have taught me even more than college


Jennifer Benningfield’s writing has appeared in several publications, including Black Dandy, The Sonder Review, Fiction On the Web, and Maryland Literary Review. A lifelong Marylander who has been in the (mostly) benevolent thrall of words since receiving “Green Eggs and Ham” as a birthday present, her writings can also be found online at www.trapperjennmd.blogspot.com

Plant Food by Robin Locke

The house plants preyed on the weak and unsuspecting. Devouring their prey with a ferocity unthinkable of grandma’s old geranium. From their terracotta pots snuggled into shelves, nooks and cute macrame hangers, hunting, watching. When they are finished nothing of you remains, not a scrap of skin, or even a scream.


Robin Locke dwells in a den in the icy cold land of Minnesota where they spend their time hiding under blankets, writing strange tales, the odd poem and talking to their imaginary cats.