May 17-23, 2004: Benjamin Vogt and Marie Lecrivain

week of May 17-23, 2004

Benjamin Vogt and Marie Lecrivain

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Benjamin Vogt

Bio (auto)

Benjamin Vogt has an MFA from The Ohio State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln He was a recent finalist for the Stadler Fellowship at Bucknell University, winner of the Joy Bale Boone Prize from Wind Magazine, and his work has appeared in The Alsop Review, Cream City Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Verse Daily Benjamin’s chapbook Indelible Marks is available from Pudding House.

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Benjamin Vogt and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Homemade Itinerary

Again, you’ve bought my plane ticket You arranged my visit because you fear
we’re losing touch, but you call and say
it’s all arranged-and doesn’t this feel
like losing touch? Too often you remember
and place remember down the road
so there’s something to look forward to You and I leapfrog loss without touching
because two objects cannot occupy the same space All of this matters when you say, the day before,
how everything is perfectly prepared, the plan
with so much purpose I don’t find love in it but
some wary treaty, a barter for our better parts We’re becoming too human, slipping opposite
like sunrise and set at the same moment,
blobs of hidden divinity stumbling to orbits
that meet at some calculated time Yet even
scientists aren’t sure on this The plane
may not land It wouldn’t be the first time.

Garbage Man

His body keeps low to the ground,
heavy but quick, and maybe that’s why
he doesn’t stop to relish where he is He only stops at ends, no, beginnings
of formal black driveways which,
in their vastness, keep him at a distance
They present their insides, things excreted
so thoughtlessly into his gloved, stain-
sweating hands: broken bottles
and crumb-filled toasters, burnt oven mitts
with green bean casserole imbedded
in synthetic fibers, brass candle-holders
encased in cyan wax
After every housing development he sprays
Lysol on his arms and shirt, only to cover
the stink of reality, of good,
dutiful work He knocks twice on the
metal frame of his driver’s truck
and goes on, because he has to,
like a river bit by bit carrying us away.

Rural Kiss, Oklahoma, 1944

Because she’s saying her goodbyes your bodies
writhe like clothesline shirts, the briefest touch
felt deeper than her coat’s arm like the clutch
of Chevy parked behind, its chrome a frieze
which cools her arching back You push valise
away like an airplane’s wheel block, insomuch
to steady your expressions-hers in such
untangled wonder and lusty indices But yours is black and white, eyes open, a search
for something past her curling hair which fades
the house, the drive, street sloped and glistening Today avoids you, your memory a perch
From which a distant and voiceless sound invades&Mac247;
Without the war all love is just routine.

Marie Lecrivain


Marie Lecrivain is a writer/photographer residing in Los Angeles and the executive editor of poeticdiversity ( She’s headed into her third year at the 10th level of poetic hell, and is a poet in residence-at her apartment
Marie’s been featured at the 2002 Echo Park Arts Festival, the Rapp Saloon and in the October 2003 showcase “Women’s Words,” at the Unurban in Santa Monica Her work has appeared in The Blue House, Animus, San Gabriel Valley Poets Quarterly, Aesthetica, and Poems Niederngasse
Her collection of poetry, Canticle of a Bored Hausfrau, is available through Sybaritic Press (

The following work is Copyright © 2004, and owned by Marie Lecrivain and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


Johan is friendly,
and collects worry lines
on his forehead
He has got a lovely smile,
which does much
to forgive
his strange penchant
for wearing
the same shades
of mauve and lavender
that accentuate
his blotchy complexion
He has no idea,
I’ve heard him
scold the cook
in staccato French,
witnessed him
gently guide
the drunken English couple
back to room 204
at 5 am, or
glimpsed his studies
in classical composition
forgotten on the
computer monitor
at the reception desk
is perfect and professional
with everyone,
but his smile
never brightens
the whites
of his eyes.


he threw over me a shower
of buttery tears smelling sweeter than the
incense weaving into my hair
softer than the weathered
lapels of his dusty, velvet black coat
brighter than the long-fingered
elegance of his bony hand reaching out &
casting more marigolds in my path
a trail of love i follow,
a bride i can’t help but be
pursuing this spoor of sunshine
into the shadows of the ofrenda
he raises the veil of my flesh,
my smile revealed for the first
& last time.


In passing,
the whore behind the lattice
to lure me
into her dark corner
Desire mounts
under repulsed reflex
from so much
flash, and I ponder
the implications
of acquiring
a replicate phallus
to hasten my journey
toward “the little death “

quietly introduces itself
beneath the
river of neon stimuli
and I’m compelled
by a need
to give into
the honest impulse
of an
anonymous fuck
I leave quickly,
in my solitude.

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