Iowa Writes

BARRY BENSON
Two Poems


ACROSTIC PSALM

"Enough! Stop following me," he feels
ashamed by his own doubting aspersions
cuckold "Old Cuck" confidence game
humiliated by her coke wold pirouettes.

"Try forgetting Latin look-alike suspicions"
invites ironic new-periled investigation:
mirror-dancing full of Cuban reflection
each forfeited moment she leaves, returns

masking an image more shaded than before
admired projections erect near the barre
diminishing control, distracting pride
elan danseur habanera, "She hit my leg."

"So, how could you think I would do this?"
Manhood retracts yet more, himself a father.
"And what did you do to inspire this?" She
lances his being as his comet burns stark
like another potent age and place:

psychological fears of fall, toll, trauma,
saltpeter additives, perhaps the VAS
as with Hemingway's recurrent bouts of
loss of affection, attention, attraction,
masculine wounds, hollow pride.

ACROSTIC PSALM

"Enough! Stop following me," he feels
ashamed by his own doubting aspersions
cuckold "Old Cuck" confidence game
humiliated by her coke wold pirouettes.

"Try forgetting Latin look-alike suspicions"
invites ironic new-periled investigation:
mirror-dancing full of Cuban reflection
each forfeited moment she leaves, returns

masking an image more shaded than before
admired projections erect near the barre
diminishing control, distracting pride
elan danseur habanera, "She hit my leg."

"So, how could you think I would do this?"
Manhood retracts yet more, himself a father.
"And what did you do to inspire this?" She
lances his being as his comet burns stark
like another potent age and place:

psychological fears of fall, toll, trauma,
saltpeter additives, perhaps the VAS
as with Hemingway's recurrent bouts of
loss of affection, attention, attraction,
masculine wounds, hollow pride.

***


BELLS & WHISTLES

Riding a Greyhound through Utah
from San Diego at 18 nobody
told me in my Navy blues & white hat
that I could dance or sing my story
or tell my poem or even join an audience
where people listen, whistle, sing
or announce a call for others
like Emily Dickinson's father
ringing the church bells in Amherst
proclaiming a most glorious sunrise.

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


BARRY BENSON

Barry Benson was raised in Story City and Nevada, Iowa followed after high school with four years active duty in the U.S. Navy - which earned him the new G.I. Bill to finance his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Following five years teaching English in Oelwein, Iowa he moved to Des Moines and taught 23 years at Dowling Catholic High School. He's now in his tenth year teaching writing and poetry writing at Des Moines Area Community College.

This page was first displayed
on June 03, 2011

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