Issue 3: Jim Benz

Scythe and a sandglass

Serafino has one handkerchief

which he keeps in an oak box

wrapped in linen beneath his bed.

It is as clean as the tears of a saint

and twice as holy. Prior to its interment

beneath the bed, his wife Malvolia

wanted to burn it, to cleanse it of spells

and demons. She didn't know

what she was saying, so he put her

in a Russian tea room and kept her there,

wrapped in silk, jewels, and etiquette.

He pretended to sympathize.

Each day, when Svetlana served her,

Malvolia cried and cried and cried,

but the tears from her good eye

were mud-stained and smelled like fish.

Her bad eye was worse: a bug eye

that always stared and never blinked.

Once it had a foreign name: Eleanor

of Arreton Manor, Isle of Wight.

In those days, before the misfortune,

it was a queenly eye, with long lashes

and allure. Now it was diseased, a yellow

coveting eye: Maloccio.

Every day, except on weekends,

Svetlana peers into this eye and frowns.

Once, on the occasion of his rare visit

to the tea room, she asked Serafino how

things had come to be as they were. He replied

with horror, "Occhi e contro e perticelli agli

occhi, crepa la invida e schiattono gli occhi."

She had no idea what he was saying,

but found his voice to be intoxicating

and beautiful. Hearing her say this aloud,

Malvolia began to smile. In an eyelid's beat,

she wore a mask that was almost lifelike.

A Desk


A smile in an office

chair and piles of affliction

learns that mirrors

are always constant. They portray

no less, they mirror the least

and the mighty. A stable

depiction, the brightest and the most

desired is that which obeys

the depiction not rendered

so much as confessed.


An intelligent face, well-groomed,

obedient and curbed,

an intelligent suit, quite intelligent

and not less generally

than preening, something intelligent

is something proper.

A detail is that

when the smile is perfectly

smiled, no less, further,

timeless and at the perfect instant


instant, not just any lip, the principal

duty is that beyond

a slander

there is still perfection.

Employ anger, employ

the lie that states that truly

states an obligatory

outrage, in depicting

now that here is rage

is valor.


Fear, what is an ideology, an ideology

is the affinity between a silver underlay

and something else, something else.

To embody it is

begun, it is objective

and less than that it has

it truly has the feral face,

and a surface

full of retractable

and less generally


far less grit.

Wear a face, a cross-section

of hope, and create more

minuscule hope

than has ever been

resolved, unfold into this face

resolvedly, sensibly

not seeing, not seeing

an accidental glance

is so reflective and less

than that, it is an ideology, it is


a dull stare, it is rage

and uniformity.

The duty to shine


is reputed, it is why

there is no refraction, why

is there no

reflection, why

is there no singular


What it is like to be a bat


This poem partially describes the ongoing effort to home-build a JW-03 Luxury Blender. You may read it as an illustration of the brilliant things people do in their spare time, but I also hope to encounter a few readers who will attempt to wag their pistols -- or are doing so already -- and wish to complicate their credibility by building on my own success as a disassociative model.

If you found your way down to this stanza, you probably know what std(X) is, but I need to regurgitate: if X is a matrix, std(X) returns a row vector containing the standard deviation of the elements of each column of X. If X is a multidimensional array, std(X) is the standard deviation of the elements along the first nonsingleton dimension of X -- meaning 'you', or a close approximation of 'me' describing 'you'.

The trick of this equation is to measure 'space as a verb' (for the purpose of determining the erectile function of a hairy-legged bat) by calculating the rotational heat capacities for NH4+ and ND4+ in NH4PF6. This of course leads to prurience, but when male genitalia are introduced to their female counterparts, the subsequent tunneling frequencies reverse their thermal expansion loops, thus resulting in a state of 'soft modernity'.

Our results suggest that the D.ecaudata penis is under directional sexual selection and is a reliable indicator of male phenotypic quality. Satisfying these dependencies in advance (as much as possible) will greatly ease the pains of building your own Luxury blender. Fortunately, recent studies indicate that the instinctual inclination to not view 'penises' as 'poor nucleophiles' is mediated by our capacity for mixed metaphor.

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Note: If the idea of generating kitchen implements that spawn sexual phenomena via ionized ammonia does not appeal to you, you will probably find this poem too exciting. Still, if you've never attempted to mount a peizo-stepping device inside a glass-rod frame, I suggest hanging the frame/mount device via rubber bands from a tripod on the White House lawn.

Terms of Agreement:

By reading this poem you agree to the following terms: 1) You MAY NOT use this poem for your own pleasure, nor may you relate it to the works of Abū Rayhān Bīrūnī. 2) You MAY NOT redistribute the elements of this poem (for example, in a blender) without written permission from the Nantong Ronghui Machine Co., Ltd. 3) You MAY link this poem to any sexual deviance you wish, but ONLY if it is NOT wrapped in cellophane. 4) You WILL abide by any philosophical statement inserted into this poem at a later date, regardless of logical coherence or uropatagium. 5) Online payment via credit card is the preferred method of subscription to this poem. Payment is due in advance for access to premium services.

Jim Benz lives in the U.S. with his wife, two cats, and a dog.

Copyright © 2009 by Jim Benz, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.