May 2014 - Comments Off on at bennington college they teach me how to write

at bennington college they teach me how to write

Parke Haskell '15

i am a college student
at bennington college

where poetry flows
through my brain

like a bullet flowing
through a brain.

all the teachers i've ever had hold me
up in the hallway

i raise my hands over my head:
the student's prayer

they look gleeful and otherworldly
in their argyle dispositions, handed down

straight from Seamus Heaney
after working in the fields for a while.

they smell so good
they smell like amazing poets which they are

they are so glad to be aquiver
and unsettled by their meanness.

they see the hole in my head
& laugh & laugh & laugh

and i'm not mad about that,
i'm mad they're pretending

they haven't seen it before.
but i liked it.

i like to be laughed at.
i like it when the smart ones hold the gun.

with their easy chuckles, lovingly worn,
to the life that chose them,

that compulsive taking down
of the slow work of dying.

so sure, these damned criminals,
these sweet mind-possessors --

do it again, they say, handing me the pistol.
finally good enough in their art

to teach the brightest, youngest ones
how to cheat.

Published by: in Issue 2: Spring 2014, Volume 70

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