ÂŠ MMVIII All rights reserved The Benefactor Magazine
THE CREDIT BENEFACTOR IS DUE Chief Editors: Ashley d’Avignon Goodwin & Marc Saleme Creative Director: Ashley d’Avignon Goodwin Contributors: Cessa Cantrell, Lindsey Baker, Zachariah d’Avignon Goodwin, Eric Wilson-Lopez, Marc Saleme, Amanda Huckins Illustrations: Ashley d’Avignon Goodwin
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ÂŠMMVIII All rights reserved The Benefactor Magazine
August/September an edition of poetry
Contents “To the Lover” and “From the House”...Cessa Cantrell.................................................................6-7 After He Moved to California, the World Kept Growing...Lindsey Baker.........................................11 An Autobiography...Zachariah d’Avignon Goodwin...................................................................12-20 Love Letter to Brooklyn...Lindsey Baker...................................................................................22-23 Getting Out...Eric Wilson-Lopez...............................................................................................24-25 List of Words...Marc Saleme.....................................................................................................26-30 Location...Amanda Huckins...........................................................................................................32 Communicable Dictionaries...Amanda Huckins.............................................................................33 This One’s About Me, Cooked...Cessa Cantrell.............................................................................35
“To the Lover” and “From the House” Cessa Cantrell 1 Milk-white sacrifice: (Listen) I’ve got a terrific idea. You and me and a bottle o’ scum— We’ll become a one big Pangaea. We’ll be bedroom mascots, Duct tape as our pinion vice. Sucking residue like apricots, Fucking sweetish fruit. Taking breaths only when The clock kicks eleven’s boot. We’ll play an anchovies accordion. Float some shrimps, seasoned cuisine: Our lupine Creole love-envy…
2 Whore-Taker: Knowing what they is (And hating what they isn’t) But, digging that abyss And trying to make it fission Is like playing cards with cumquats And shearing sheep with acid pulp, Them trembling with combustion spots And forgetting how to gulp.
“It Ravaged me for 3 days straight”; (Your thoughts couldn’t let go And your appetite got slight.) Your 20/20 vision realized The “bystander” sandpaper Scuffing the fuck out of your eyes. But, what he doesn’t know Is that you’re a sonofabitch. And, you know how to shoot Those sadist injections, Taking your passion into the world And outside of bedroom inspections Singin’: The gun came down On Freddie’s crown With the violence of A Timbuktu Monsoon. Yes. You know I’ve been singin’: The gun came down On Freddie’s crown With the violence of A Timbuktu Monsoon.
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After He Moved to California, the World Kept Growing Lindsey Baker He was digging, he said, to clear overgrown morning glories out back—Shoveling the only bare patch, pushing, green tip down, just to break something, so many round clods of dirt— He never intended to plant. At night, Nebraska: rows and rows of corn. Every stalk an even height, he dreamt of oceans without waves, full of order, plenty. 8 a.m. and already the steady scrape of metal on stone. One foot in the flowers, one on the shovel’s shoulder: turn, pile. At noon, reverse— How many holes he made, then filled, then made again.
Love Letter to Brooklyn Lindsey Baker You would reduce all cacophony to an anthem of Manhattan, a girl’s giddy squeal to a crumpled paper hat the hour after Chinese New Year. You would believe each sweep of littered sidewalks sacrilege— You don’t believe in cleaning up— You inventory, itemize. I don’t want to know the things you’d find in my home’s crippling disarray; I cannot bring myself to sort trinkets from trash, baffled one small girl could generate such mess— I am moved by fear, a wish to wisely choose the things I should discard, to, in view of everything, not miss or touch a single thing— I miss you. I cannot touch you. Once, you wrote a list of all the words you did not know, even though in doing so, you learned; you lied. I’d not be better writing I don’t know you, 22
your litanies, those lengthy prayers I’ve almost memorized as mine—In truth, we don’t know anything. We find less, say less than that. You exist in my excess: gold hem, hairpin, flat palm. You are what you took away. I am what you left.
Getting Out. Eric Wilson-Lopez sitting on the veranda of the middle of the city. looking up at trees I wonder how long it takes for them to produce the oxygen that Iâ€™m breathing this symbiotic relationship as I dream up new ways to make money the entities who die to make it are being tied to the back of a barge in south america. well I never planned on saving the world only living in it until I die myself I see a building I used to live in and wonder if itâ€™s only me who canâ€™t seem to separate memories from eachother 24
I try I try I try I try to pick out one distinct instance but can do no better than seeing the cat in the window her face through the window christmas with an aluminum tree walking through the parking lot watching her wash dishes doing the laundry her red sheets as she put lotion on after a shower her clothes that spilled out all over her bedroom my fumbling hands shaving her legs I never meant to save the world only to live in it until I die myself.
List of Words Marc Saleme So I went to the doctor because I felt funny, or rather not so funny, and after careful examination he says, “You’ve got, uh, blue spots.” “Blue spots?” “Yes, tiny ones, like freckles only smaller. But they’re there.” “I didn’t think... I didn’t think you could get blue spots. I sure as hell didn’t think it could happen to me.” “Yeah.” “Well, what do we do?” “Well, there’s some medicine you can take--” “Whoa whoa whoa,” I said. “I can’t afford commercial medicine. So uh... like do you have any other ideas?” “I’m only trained in commercial medicine.” “Huh,” I said, and that’s how it was. I was glad to know that I’m on my own. You know, remanded to deal with life with nothing more than the tools the good Lord gave me. Back on the streets. “I see,” said Bosley. “So what–did the doctor say what the blue spots are?” “Yes, in fact. They are deposits of crystallized metabolite... I don’t have quite all—I’m one enzyme short of a protein complex. Heh, I’m one codon short of a gene sequence. Got a screw loose!” “You’ve had some screws loosened since you started taking death.” “I know! Just look at what it did to Keanu Reeves.” “Right. I mean it’s not that kind of death.” “Just like it’s not that kind of adrenachrome.” “Never is.” 26
“Just like the movies.” “That’s why they call it the silver screen.” “I think you mean movie magic or cinematography. The silver screen is a term referring to an actuality that those projection screens are kind of a silver tone.” The sulky silk-shirted late-seventies-throwback-haired scuzz-festival death dealer couldn’t stop staring at the back of a head across the Starbucks where they were doing the deal. He swore that head looked just like a friend’s and even though it wasn’t the exact person, he wanted to study the face, but all he got was a long look at a hairy occiput. There’s a brain in there. “Why are you telling me all this,” he asked. “Because, well, my point is that I think the death has begun to prove deleterious to my daily thought process.” “Wouldn’t be worth the money if it didn’t.” “Uh-huh.” I sat there with these two crystal gems in my hand that I couldn’t actually see very well. Maybe I’m getting old. I need glasses. Maybe my visual processing center is being eroded away so that everything just kind looks amorphous and fuzzy. Funny how in fact, it’s all or nothing. Maybe I’m just dehydrated. Low on B-vitamins. Maybe I’m a monster. The phone rang. So what, right? No, but I picked it up against some better judgment. Would it be a creditor? I know so many of them, and they call and make me feel bad. My grandmother is a creditor. “You just want it to be right.” “I know!” Relief. It’s Josie. “And everybody acts like there are so many choices.” “Take it easy.” “Thanks.” “Thanks for what?” Mom said. “Oh, I guess I was just remembering another conversation. One where I felt good.” Everyone’s a therapist. “Do you have any pills?” 27
“I have aspirin.” “No, that’ll give the Reye’s. You know Mom, life is kind of a headache, because I can’t work in these conditions.” “You know it sounds like you’re living in the past, with all those overlaps in narrative.” “You’re disjointed and hackneyed!” “Are you on drugs?” “Well, yeah, always, but now that we’ve identified that living in the past thing, hopefully I can try some new things.” “You should try some new things, if you CAN,” she said ominously. And then it hit me. This is so freakin’ weird. It’s like I’m dreaming all the time. No, wait, that was a movie too. There are so many movies. Here’s one. There’s one. He shows blue chicory to the one he’s loving as they ride along concrete in an automobile. I like tender things, they tell each other with what they don’t say. If you say anything sweetly enough, it makes me melt like molten mountains of gold lolling through space without form or function. Softly. And I like to see other people enjoying things, like carefully eating some tasty morsel from glistening fingers, because it reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. Who writes this stuff!? Who said what should make me happy? Abraham. I just want to say one word to make the whole idea appear in your claptrap mind. Salacious. Ahhhh. I’m talking to myself again. “Psst.” “What!?” 28
A trench-coat and fedora with eyes gestured him over into the alley with a head jerk. He entered, couldn’t help but think of sex. “Hey buddy,” the fedora said, “Do you find yourself slipping back and forth between metaphor and literality?” “All the time! I have absolutely no control.” “There’s a loaded statement.” “Yeah,” I said, looking around for something better to do. These conversations always bore me. “And besides, what’s the difference?” I said, knowing that this would only make the conversation longer, but not wanting to be rude. “Between what?” “Literality and metaphor.” “Well, I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder.” “Then where does communication become necessary?” “Communication is its own end.” “A ha,” I said, satisfied. “Well, I’m glad we talked. Thanks.” “You’re welcome.” “Yeah, well... I’m gonna go... unless we were going to have sex, or get a drink, or both, probably in that order...” “Uh, no, not exactly.” “Not exactly?” “Hey, buddy.” “What?” “You want to buy some information? I got good shit.” “Oh yeah?” I said cautiously, because I’ve definitely been burned before. “What is it?” 29
“Heavy meditation.” “Ah!” I groaned heavily. “Yeah, I don’t know. It’s just that I’ve heard that can ruin my life, because I’ll change, and even though I may not like myself, I have all these really decent reasons why I-- You know what? I don’t talk to hippies. Let not your left hand know what you’re right hand is doing. Asshole.” And I walked on. There’s a river and some buildings, and sometimes I stop, sometimes I walk. I’m dying. Unless I can find the philosopher’s stone. And then I’ll pull my hair from roots and shout, “Meaningless! Meaningless, Ahhhh!” I think what I’ve learned from this promenade is that if you keep moving, you see things that can’t be seen sitting still. Things that upon cessation of movement cease to exist.
List of things that cease to exist out of context Everything 30
This One’s About Me, Cooked Cessa Cantrell
Steaks, cooked on black rocks, such a waste. Stakes to post the dead, body pocked and gone: (Just the head, maligned and red). Stakes, to gamble by, to beat the boss; Cop shot, feeble flight, neck to ground—in the street. Cops popped their cherries at a troubled kid on the highway. They cut their steak. And, they stole his shoes. And his cocaine. Stakes, to claim, to claim a name Fooling fools and gaming games; One, two fingers taked—The big man boss condones that loss, Pulls up his cuffs and flings the toss. “Woof-Woof” see the steaks. Finger-lickin’ The dog thought they tasted like chicken. Licks his chops and takes the bait—Taste so good he cain’t see straight.
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Published on Oct 4, 2008