Ben Seanor

Invective against Poets

I find nothing funny nor endearing
when you write about your morning
bagel. Nothing revelatory
when you spit shine the lostness
of Eurydice or Persephone.
And I’ve also written a poem
in a dream—it was the most
boring thing to happen to me
in my life. More boring than
even grocery shopping
dreams. At least in those, I hold
a swollen black eggplant
or keep passing a pretty girl
because I’ve forgotten which aisle
hides the olive oil. Have you ever
been woken up by someone you love
grinding her teeth in her sleep?
You know you could wake her,
tell her, but she would only frown,
nod a little, flatten herself
back into sleep. Both of you
knowing what the mouth will do next.
So you get up, turn off the alarm,
let her continue her lunch
with her mother and Jane Birkin.
Breathe in the baby powder
in her hair, the sharpened
scent of makeup remover;
you know what there is no stopping.
When she finally wakes,
her face is unburdened, smiling.
She grabs her phone to show you
the song that was just playing
in her head as her eyes opened.
And you are happy, you forget
the high, incessant sound
of her teeth in the night.
Out the window, the afternoon
is warm and clear and still
ahead of you. A pure, sensuous form.
And you try to let the day
begin as the caesura it wants
and, for the moment, you know no
longing, nothing new drifting
through your head like a yard of silk
through a river. Nothing you need
to say that you then need to say.


Ben Seanor is in America. His work has appeared in, among other places, The Collagist; Yes, Poetry; decomP and Cimarron Review.