Lyrical Somerville – April 9

On April 9, 2014, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times
Now, Now … I know many Lyrical readers don’t like obscenity in their poetry, and it isn’t often that we have it. But Thomas Benfield, a young area poet who studies at Endicott College (where I teach), came up with a poem inspired by Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl. I think Benfield’s take on it is really fine. Ginsberg’s poem Howl was once declared “obscene” but it is now taught at universities around the world and I am told even at West Point. So I hope you dig this.
Thomas Benfield

Thomas Benfield

Benzedrine Coffee
I cried, when oozing tar through my heart, tipped off the dogs to feed on romanticism.
When a jaw-line ashtray ruined the last meal of whorish fishermen on islands in Japan.
And walked through universities claiming dependence on W4s.
I saw the bright eyed beat down novelties move into rehab centers, adopt 12 step programs and put down their pens for a work-study
because adulthood fucked the creativity out of his blood
and the tattoos off of his back. and the separatists and the evangelists throwing literature in a riot of identity fraud yelling “I love you” in black ghettos for the republican vote.
So I threw my bones in a river wrapped tightly in my cloths like the James Ossuary with graffiti etched over its claims
only to have saw dust between my teeth and eyes sewn shut by a mortician waiting to pay her loans from beautician school.
who wouldn’t buy street art laced with acid and thick spray paint stains running to the gutter for ten dollars but would for a thousand if enough writers wrote about his genius.
So come down, come down the jumper on the ledge talked down by humanity but revisited by the loneliness of cosmos
With iron painted hands and numbers printed in boots laying pennies on train tracks to up their value
With gypsy drone cloths and a Helvetica tattoo reading for veterans who can kill but can’t write
And die beneath the rotting quilted sky of the middle east with a candle lit dinner of oil and freedom
But never individualism. Never trust that word because brokenness perpetuates and adulthood is the realization that you are a waste
But my god how it can rain. when the skies open their legs to fuck in climax with god and school and government aside.
and harshly clean heathen hearts from a riot of cocaine stained nights beyond tastefulness and apologies
So come out of your homes and flickering fucking boxes without taste to see drunkards raping drunkards and policemen pissing on themselves
and judges burning pot in the recesses of the court waiting for the gavel to come down at his fault
Now the last of us crying with benzedrine coffee and crowns at the dry cleaners and rosary beads wrapped over scars from failed suicides
Jump from burnt rain-running-ink-edges of google maps into shallow graves of monotony-crippled- concrete-corking daisies from growing from corpse.
— Thomas Benfield
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