Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three poems by Ben Kopel from "Victory"


Only because I felt like it—the
ashtray kid with seven hearts

cocked. Lit up and clockwork.
A face across my face.

My hands across your face. 
Your ex-girlfriend

adjusting her wig at the bar.
Like clockwork. Part mutilation.

Part victory. Part garden. 
Like the apology of a city

in your hands and
across my face.



this is not that dream—

air slams air
& the author

he laughs &


my smile gets smashed



I’m not

I’m not
nearly high enough


All expectations
drum roll
and meridians
I am

scared sacred
having nothing
to prove
to no
one waiting

for what
is not
gone to
go off

and on
until the
sun catches
me crying
the light

sees me
singing the
phonebook to
me myself

this freak
an accident
a heart
of hearts

These three poems appear in Ben Kopel's new book of poetry, Victory (H_NGM_N Books). The [Aesthesia Balderdash]::[Victory] Sui-Southern Tour featuring Ben Kopel and Kim Vodicka will be touring through Louisiana and Texas in June. From an interview in the current issue of BOMB magazine's Bombsite blog, Jack Christian asked Kopel about the book's division into seven sections: Somewhere in this process I came across a Garcia Lorca poem that became a guiding light. It’s called “Song of the Boy with Seven Hearts,” and its refrain can be translated as something resembling Seven hearts are the hearts that I have, but mine is not there among them. That hit home to an insane degree . . . the idea that one could contain a multitude of love and yet still be somewhat shot through with a lack that sings. Seven itself is a special number. It’s a holy number. Man is five. The devil is six. God is seven. Monkeys go to heaven. With the holy ghost in the machine, I felt like things would fall into place for the best. Also, I love beginnings and endings, and this structure allowed me seven of each.

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