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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Featuring the poetry of Jon Bennett

Off a cliff

Oftentimes I think
I should learn to parasail
or surf, maybe boogie board
but then I think
so much trouble
and besides
I’m already going
in a straight line.


Ronny was in the circus
I don’t know what it was he did
because he was born with cerebral palsy
he’s not in it anymore
mostly he just drinks
“I used to have this girl,” he tells me,
“we’d get a tank of gas
and when it was half down
wherever we were, we’d camp
those were good times, now
I can hardly walk.”
He’s been waiting for me to listen
but I’ve had a rough year.
“Good times,” he says
and I can’t help but feel
we’re both on empty.

Soda Pop Man

His route took him to
Temptations, Centerfolds, The Lusty Lady,
all the full nude places
could only sell soda, no alcohol.
“I touched her beaver,” he’d say, or,
“I got her autograph.”
There was sawdust on his glasses
and he always squinted
because he worked in perpetual dark
I couldn’t imagine him in anything
besides coveralls that said, “Arlin”
in that nice cursive.
I would pay him out
the two of us in a cloud
of that cheap perfume
you want to say you hate
but like orange pop,
the sweeter it was
the better.

Jon Bennett writes and plays music in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood.  His novel, 'The Unfat,' sci-fi involving autism, is available on Amazon, and his CD 'Submarine,' through iTunes, Spotify and Pandora.  You can purchase signed copies of either by contacting him at