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Joshua Bennett

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Joshua Bennett

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.

by this poet


Which could almost be said
to glisten, or glow,
like the weaponry
in heaven.
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


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


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