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VII

Beneath the black jungle palms, monkeys.
They remind me of me, my tools, my cartoon
heart that’s shaped like a heart. Other better animals
are pronounced as being heavenly, in this native island tongue.
I’m not true and I’m not free,
I know I should go somewhere official, somewhere right,
like make my way back to the mainland, get home
from my violet days of taming parrots and sunburn.

If I could slather on my own tame desires
instead of the monkey’s touch while I sleep,
I would not want but still I would burn and for
next to nothing. Some coconut milk, a better name,
this is no way to get back home. There’s time.
Turn black.

IX

Saying the word sonar is satisfying.
During the Cuban Crisis, we smoked sugarcane and
they dropped depth charges by our family home.
I watched one soldier walk into the river and float away.
I barely had time to speak. Little paths above the wheat
pennies strewn there filled with water. Eddies. The industrialist
got on his hands and knees. Short-sighted, he gathered change in.
There was nothing on his mind. Ripples moving through.

A dream so violent I awake actually afraid of myself.
A way of decoding trees. A way to hear the night air.
Somewhere, a low beeping. A sleep-start.
Bring me back to the glory I felt that day when
we only knew the beaches as a liminal space.
(________________________________)

___________________________________________
Ben Estes, Ben Fama, Ben Kopel, Ben Mirov, and Ben Winkler wrote these poems as part of a collaborative heroic crown. The sonnets and a group erasure of Yeats’ “Under Ben Bulben” are forthcoming as a chapbook.

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Ben Pease is the creator and host of Scattered Rhymes, the featured podcast of The The Poetry Blog. His poetry has appeared in MAGGY, Paperbag, and SUPERMACHINE, among others. A selection of his Blockbuster in Verse, Wichman Cometh, is available from Monk Books here. His collages can be found here and as poetry comics with Bianca Stone here and here .

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  • Ben Kopel via Facebook May 19, 2011, 11:50 am

    I AM NOW, AND FOREVER, BAN KOPEL.

  • Ben Kopel via Facebook May 19, 2011, 11:50 am

    I AM NOW, AND FOREVER, BAN KOPEL.

  • TheThe Poetry Blog via Facebook May 19, 2011, 11:52 am

    Doh!

  • TheThe Poetry Blog via Facebook May 19, 2011, 11:52 am

    Doh!

  • TheThe Poetry Blog via Facebook May 19, 2011, 11:53 am

    Let’s reverse the ban.

  • TheThe Poetry Blog via Facebook May 19, 2011, 11:53 am

    Let’s reverse the ban.

  • TheThe Poetry Blog via Facebook May 19, 2011, 12:04 pm

    So good!!–Bianca Stone

  • TheThe Poetry Blog via Facebook May 19, 2011, 12:04 pm

    So good!!–Bianca Stone

  • Bianca May 19, 2011, 5:29 pm

     “A dream so violent I awake actually afraid of myself.
    A way of decoding trees. A way to hear the night air.”

    As someone who collaborates a lot, I’m so blow away at how fluid this poem is, how well it moves. I can’t wait to read more!!

  • Cheoy Lee February 8, 2012, 10:15 am

    “A dream so violent I awake actually afraid of myself.” – that line *really* resonated with me, and comes at just the right time in the poem – the build up is perfect!

  • Cheoy Lee February 8, 2012, 10:15 am

    “A dream so violent I awake actually afraid of myself.” – that line *really* resonated with me, and comes at just the right time in the poem – the build up is perfect!

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