December 10, 2017

Three Poems by Jon Bennett: "Golden Boy," "Elephant," and "Shepherd"

Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood. You can find more of his work on Pandora, iTunes, and Spotify. Most recently, he's been published in In Between Hangovers, Mad Swirl, and Your One Phone Call. For more, visit these links:


Golden Boy

People are afraid
of the slum
but it’s full of wrecks
the limping, toothless and gasping
except the Golden Boy
17 yrs old
Samoan, Vietnamese and Black
wife beater bleached white as rice
sway back rippling
The people grin,
girls actually applaud
when he walks by
So it’s much worse
when he’s the one
shot dead
in the gutter.


Joe went through Oakland
on purpose,
caught sight of her
limping down the regular track,
something was wrong
with her leg
“Andra,” she said,
shaking his hand
“No. Andra.”
She told him where to go
some kind of truck depot
and hitched up her dress
Her leg was enormous
swollen so bad
she couldn’t bend it
“What’s wrong
with your leg?” said Joe
“My leg is beautiful,” she said
Later, she told him
“You know erotica? Like stories?
My life is like living erotica.”
She was a used up wreck
but he liked
her style.


I watched a movie about a shepherd
somewhere in Montana
on a 3 year contract,
a man on fire with solitude
leaden with it
He butchered one of his rams
for food
and I saw him gasp
at the deed
as the knife went in
I saw it from my darkened room
I watched it all

Jon Bennett

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