Daniel Bennett

Brutalism

Like a long graveyard
for each of our unborn futures
those dreams we had of taking flight
and skimming across city skies
of knitting our wide ideals
into something commonplace
(like popcorn or a Saturday
or breakfast or a can of soup),
of the monotony of blurred outskirts
precincts public toilets libraries
of the loneliness of motorway junctions
and stopovers in the down hours
the blocks of flats playing games
across districts and suburbs
sprawling like hungover Godzillas,
or the wakes and processions
in the low corridors where everyone
would get lost on the ramps
or send the coffin crashing down
into the atrium’s common abyss
of laying flowers inside the theatre
pissed up and punched out
and misdirected onto a high walkway
and lost to the cold hum of electrics
and sick notes all our utopian dreams
left faded like the old space captain
caught at the autograph table
by a line of people all dressed
in a uniform of yet another future
and he sees himself nude and alone
offering a whispered sermon
inside a wooden rural church
desperate for a congregation
or a family to light the cold of home

 

© Daniel Bennett

 

 

Callings

 

That chefs, when not at work
live off ramen and fried chicken
should not surprise us. Deep
in their epicurean downtime,
they slob on shish dinners
on a pita’s clammy palms
splashed in front of late TV
whites grimed with veloute
bouillabaisse, palates ready
for the taint of chicken skin.
And barbers must advertise
their rivals. How tempting
they must find it, to raze
their heads, adopt mullets
or pompadours and blame
the new joint over the road.
We should consider the plight
of vegetarian meat packers
wincing at the frail haunches
of favourite dogs, after days
spinning sides of prime pork
and beef like suits on a rack,
their skin dusted with the pollen
of sinew, cartilage and lard.
Each day, I enter a white room
Monitors thrum. I take a seat
into organised logic. The world
pours through us and we record,
save and note, delete and repair.
And all the while, shreds of paper
slide across the rough grain
of industrial carpeting, bunch
and spin on the passing currents
of air con, footfall, accumulate,
advance and flow, like ripe seeds
seeking a richer earth to spawn.

© Daniel Bennett

 

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