June 9-15, 2014: Jim Benton and Sy Roth

Jim Benton and Sy Roth

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Jim Benton

Bio (auto)

Jim Benton taught teenagers in Texas to see and write poetry for twenty years, leading five-day "experiments in living like poets" in Santa Fe. His students won poetry awards, but he shared his own poetry mostly with them until his "12 blues in 3-line time" appeared in MiPOesias, January, 2013. Jim lives and writes in Ft. Worth, Texas.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Jim Benton and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Jesus Vacations in Santa Fe

Jesus, restless in heaven,
slipped away alone, clean-shaven,
for a quiet vacation. Unknown
and unrecognized, he treated himself
to a pedicure, soaked in a spa at sunset
with a bottle of local red. The thought of blood
never occurred to him. Next day he went shopping,
dressed himself up in gaudy drag,
donned a flashing electric tiara,
AAA batteries entwined in a bejeweled weave.
He dyed his hair a soft and lovely
auburn, danced alone an inch
above sandal-worn adobe floors,
dined on Northern New Mexican
Cuisine, sat for hours amid juniper
and sage in the crisp evening
air. A Canyon Road crafter
tried to sell him a pair of hand-sewn
white kid gloves with sterling silver
stigmata medallions, inlaid turquoise, red leather tassels,
and one-of-a-kind ceramic drop-weight
beads, at a Semana Santa Sale price.
Jesus wept.
Silently, he slipped away,
scrubbed his hands in adobe dust,
sat down for a sopapilla
and a soda. At Chimayo,
Jesus tasted his first brisket taco
with a pinch of fresh cilantro and lime
on a hand-formed corn tortilla,
and fell in love. A gentle Pueblo abuela
shared the secret of her green chile stew—
fresh corn grilled on an open pinon fire.
The pixilated cascade of golden aspen
took his breath, and no apple ever tasted so sweet
as the one he picked right off the tree
without so much as a moment’s thought
of Eden. It was just the quiet vacation
Jesus needed. Peace on Earth
and great tacos.

Sy Roth

Bio (auto)

Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out. He resides in Mount Sinai, New York, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Twice selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight anthology. A Murder of Crows named Poem of the Week in Toucan.

The following work is Copyright © 2014, and owned by Sy Roth and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Not Yet Arrived

leisure moves in to sleep on my sofa
like a homeless, long-lost cousin.
days stretch out in indolence and divested timepieces.
refrigerator beckons me to move
in a lethargic, ass-scratching stretch
to conduct an archeological dig through its
slimy ham, hardened bread, and moldy cheese.

today I move some dirt
from a patch looking askew
spied out of the corner of my eye–
then rerouted the edging,
replaced stakes,
weeded the small plot
and swept the refuse into a black garbage bag.
thirty minutes of diversion.

pungent, earthy smells follow me into the house.
later took up where I left off in my novel
the assassin within transported me there.
no longer feeling manipulated by authors,
I journey with them.

Will I transport today?
my head becomes a wrecking ball,
weebling and wobbling
stabbing at my chest.
train-wrecking snores awaken me.
the sun rips a crimson streak across my left cheek.

my Madeleine,
dried cookies and sounds of imagined, tapping keys
fellow travelers in my somnambulism.
the overused delete button
leaves a trail of death of incoherent words
and a discordant rhapsody in a jumbled day–
twelve hours to go.

I move along with it in monosyllabic fits and starts–
perhaps time to kill some ants
back there in the garden.
polymorphic words haven’t yet arrived.


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