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About this poet

Joshua Bennett is the author of Owed, forthcoming in 2020 from Penguin, and The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016), winner of the 2015 National Poetry Series. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. He is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Dartmouth College.

You Are So Articulate With Your Hands

she says & it’s the first time
the word doesn’t hurt. I respond
by citing something age-inappropriate
from Aristotle, drawing mostly
from his idea that hands are what make us
human, every gesture the embodiment
of our desire for invention or care & I’m not
sure about that last part but it seemed
like a polite response at the time
& I’m not accustomed to not needing
to fight. If my hands speak with conviction
then blame my stupid mouth for its lack
of weaponry or sweetness. I clap when I’m angry
because it’s the best way to get the heat out.
Pop says that my words are bigger
than my mouth but these hands
can block a punch, build a bookcase,
feed a child & when’s the last time
you saw a song do that?

Copyright © 2014 Joshua Bennett. “You Are So Articulate With Your Hands” was originally published in Smartish Pace. Used with permission of the author.

 

Copyright © 2014 Joshua Bennett. “You Are So Articulate With Your Hands” was originally published in Smartish Pace. Used with permission of the author.

 

Joshua Bennett

Joshua Bennett

Joshua Bennett is the author of Owed, forthcoming in 2020 from Penguin. He teaches at Dartmouth College.

by this poet

poem

Which could almost be said
to glisten, or glow,
like the weaponry
in heaven.
Frictionless.
As if slickened
with some Pentecost
-al auntie’s last bottle
of anointing oil, an ark
of no covenant
one might easily name,
apart from the promise
to

poem

Not every trauma has a price
point. You & I are special
that way. No doubt, there is good
money to be made in the rehearsal of
a father’s rage, an empty crate,
whatever instrument ushered us into
lives of impure repetition. Years on
end, you replayed

poem

Which I spell that way because that’s the way it was spelled
on all the clear plastic packets I grew up buying for no more
than two dollars, two fifty max, unless I was at Duane Reade
or some likewise corporatized venue but who buys
the majority of their durags at Duane Reade anyway,
who