POEMS: Rachel J. Bennett

The Sims

In the virtual place
I’ve hatched without
a single lithium waste,
a single future sunk
off the coast of
Vladivostok, here’s sim-
moth, simlung, simChrist
as epithet rounding
the iron gate of lion
to a California alien
roller-crossing as if
his banshee dog could
drag his reckoning, joyous
and like some amped
conqueror, back to Venice,
which in any case
is also treble-clef now, where
treble’s the voice of
my virtual old woman asking
the difference between
Premium and Ritz in the
Associated aisle off
Knickerbocker, and I tell her
it’s the buttery taste or
something about simplicity,
and she asks if I
remember how crackers
used to be, and I’m afraid
I do not answer her
the way I should, the question
here being whether I’m just
too young or have I
forgotten everything
important that’s ever
happened to me, except perhaps,
at least for now, how I ate
a cling peach on the walk
home, if cling is the right
adjective when what I’m trying
to describe is the kind
of flesh my teeth
pull so easily away.







Who cued up the Detroit Cobras? Do we have enough

distance? When I say farther, what I want to say is
all of it, all the wagons of it, every brute shred
of me. Oh, Olivia, I loved and I loved and I loved
and numerical. Current, jaw line, a plinth
for your voice. I didn’t want to try on the equations
or bravado, but one of each pleasure waited
for me like a well. All the ways you showed me
to [insert verb here]. In the end, my street counted
backwards from zero while I summoned our oracle
from the desert and told her I missed the dolphin
days of Milwaukee. But everything must come
undone with incredible force sometimes
atomic lung, molecular sense—and the best
thing to do is onions, plenty of papered roots,
and a mug like the mugs your father used when
you were small. What I’m trying to say, Olivia, is
I can’t turn off the hardship. They call it club,
the clover, and it’s never been anything but trouble
here, the kind we invite again and again to our lips.


Rachel J. Bennett’s chapbook, On Rand McNally’s World, will appear through dancing girl press in 2015. Individual poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals including Big Lucks, elimae, inter|rupture, Permafrost, Really System, Salt Hill, Similar:Peaks::, Rattle, Sixth Finch, Spittoon, Verse Daily, and Vinyl. She has won awards through Bayou Magazine and Smartish Pace, and was recently Poet of the Week through Brooklyn Poets. Come play! @rachtree11.

Submit a comment