The Slackted Poetry of Martijn Benders

if all hope is abandoned and you lay awake watching the Contenders
play tapes of some obscure rock band you’re welcome to enter
and check out this slender, delicate verse with metaphors galore
like a Roman brothel frothing incantations through the door

Benders puts his fledgling words in a titanium blender and renders
magic, genre-bending classics poured on the pages like the breath
of an inebriated unicorn, horny stallion like İskender the great
he conquers the known world with the stuff from which she is made

This man is kicking out the moneylenders like a messianic defender
No pretense, just a book of spells, hot as hell, howling like a Fender,
and he isn’t from Flanders, it’s so neat, featuring abundant night birds
you can hear between the lines singing that you can be the first

So nag your spouse for Christmas to upend your slack marriage
get carried away when you unpack Benders’ dense book in the bedroom
very rapidly you become the mender of your matrimonial gloom
your love-making blooms you be trend setter into the imaginary

Picture Oriental caravans of dark wild owls, howling
wholesome epigrams in Hesperian nights full of elves
while fickle lip ghosts approach in saucy steps
and drunk unicorns prowl at the N of hibernation

You don’t want to wait until the year is over to get this on your shelf
so treat yourself or your MILF, leave the cold rime outside
hush hush cuddle by the fireplace with this lush Dutch bundle
be the seamstresses at the seam, trundle into each other’s dreams

The Slackted Poetry of Martijn Benders was originally published on Meandering home


To be a bad poet

who is not invited to exotic
poetry festivals in cultural capitals, not
celebrated for his otherness, not
for the soothing justice
that emanates from his professionally
__translated words, not
for the clapping of the audience when he reads
and they see the scaffolding of a pristine soul

To be that poet who loves
the colors and the sounds and the smells
and the people,
and writes “beautiful” in a beautiful language

To be that poet who loves
the sanctity of simple words when they sail an honest breath

To be the one whose dearest words
are thin and tenuous like singing ice

To be a bad poet was originally published on Meandering home

Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before. – Audre Lorde

was originally published on Meandering home

Instagram poetry

Giving in to the social media requirement of visuality and brevity, I also publish poetry on – Instagram. There are a lot of so called “instapoets” but in my humble opinion they are not exactly innovative and their language sounds pretty dull to me. As it happens – and this doesn’t contradict my modesty – my own language doesn’t feel boring to me. This is also why I like to share it with you.

Without further clichés, here is an example and a link to the instagram realm of ‘kamielchoi‘ where you can find more such stuff.


Instagram poetry was originally published on Meandering home

Reading: Because You Asked Me About The Line Between Prose And Poetry by Howard Nemerov

Howard Nemerov (1920-1991) was a versatile American poet, known for his refined formalism (he wrote often anthologized sonnets like ‘A primer of the daily round’, as well as his wit. Here is a fine short poem about the reversibility of time:

Because you asked me about the line between prose and poetry
Sparrows were feeding in a freezing drizzle
That while you watched turned into pieces of snow
Riding a gradient invisible
From silver aslant to random, white, and slow.

There came a moment that you couldn’t tell.
And then they clearly flew instead of fell.

I like the fact that Nemerov was born on February 29th. It means that he could feel four times older or younger as he so wished. This small poem reverses the melting of snow and destruction of the flakes’ exquisite order. The sparrows are ‘riding a gradient’: the line between past and future? Between prose and poetry? The movement of the ‘you’ is backwards in time, since in the end the sparrows clearly flew instead of dropping dead. It is the result of a special kind of focusing that turns a bird feeding scene into poetry and allows us to experience time backwards.

Poetry as the magic that enables our imagination to decrease entropy, to untell a story with great precision. That might be about right.

Reading: Because You Asked Me About The Line Between Prose And Poetry by Howard Nemerov was originally published on Meandering home

poetry is easy: make something out of nothing

poetry is easy: make something out of nothing

to begin with, here is nothing, hiding somewhere
in the o

on your way to kindergarten you carry a pink
umbrella, an antique lampshade, a fairytale turtle
under which you are invisible and I think

you wink to the man in the traffic light to go green
you hurtle. you are not hiding. nothing can be seen

poetry is easy: make something out of nothing was originally published on Meandering home