Julie Benesh ~ Two Poems

Your Perfect Poem

I don’t nor­mal­ly leave a comment,
but I must insist on this exception:
your deli­cious poem was a hit
with my crew! I only made
a few small tweaks:

ingre­di­ent-wise, we like it a lit­tle less bland,
so I spiced it up with some adjectives
and I switched out the moth
con­ceit with a but­ter­fly (monarch,
the only kind I buy) for a pop of color.

We are not that into folk cuisine,
so I made a reduc­tion of the mountain
motif and swapped it with a cityscape.

And, for an entrée,
it was a bit delicate
for hearty appetites,
so added some stanzas
for volume.

Didn’t have time to bake it as long
as you, giv­en my demand­ing day job,
fam­i­ly respon­si­bil­i­ties, and philanthropy
work. But we think it came out even better,
at least more to our taste.

Anyhoo, these blog poems are usu­al­ly mediocre, but yours?
Sheer per­fec­tion! Could not be hap­pi­er with this recipe.
Yum! I’ll be sharing.


Sunk Cost

What’s hers got that mine lacks? All made of words:
some born beau­ties, oth­ers enhanced; some fresh
and unschooled, ripe for exot­ic pro­jec­tions. (Check
out the moth­er, if there even was one, to see how she
will hold up over time.) Others reflect more experience,
greater tech­nique: could there be hope for me yet?

I can’t argue with not your type, except to say, I am sure you concur,
no one wants to be a type: like Uncle Walt W, we con­tain multitudes.
Which leads where I did not want to go: being the kind of person,
or rather a per­son, kind being a type, although kind­ness is a part
of it, offer­ing some­thing valu­able enough to deserve your attention,
that is to say, the neces­si­ty of mat­ter­ing, mat­ter, which, by the way,
can nei­ther be cre­at­ed nor destroyed, which means that nothing
is wast­ed and you and me and we and they, all cura­tors, wired
to receive the inevitabil­i­ty of transformation.

That said, let us agree that spilling the milk of regret,
let alone envy, over what is essen­tial­ly an issue of fashion
or weath­er or logis­tics is to squan­der, yet we must not throw
good ener­gy after bad and com­pound the cri­sis. So, please, strike
that unfor­tu­nate adverb “unfor­tu­nate­ly…” from your correspondence
and per­haps your very vocabulary.

We are all good.


Julie Benesh has pub­lished sto­ries, poems, and essays in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Hobart, JMWW, Cleaver and many oth­er places. She is a grad­u­ate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in Creative Writing and the recip­i­ent of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. Read more at juliebenesh.com.