Deconstruction of the Poet as a Young Stenographer

Visually attractive and thought-provoking!

coffee and a blank page

benton_pollen_finalhangingBridget Benton, “Pollen: Self Portrait at the Tree of Knowledge.” Encaustic, 2013. Courtesy of the artist. For more of the artist’s work, visit

The Faithful

I went to hear the mystic speak.
He uttered desolation — and a gale began
that swept the landscape clean.
A tree with barbed-wire branches
laced its leaves together above a banquet table
built like stonehenge, set for eight hundred
with a dinner of dirt
and lemons.
The mystic stomped the ground twice with his gnarled staff
and stood, complete.

From the audience a storyteller rose to sing —
a drowning melody. Baobab trees grew tall
and filled with cockatoos and peacocks,
the air pungent with their color.
Vines crept across my face and toes.
More vines consumed the banquet
and the banquet table.
The storyteller’s final liquid notes fell in a shimmer,
and she stood, complete.


An old and wizened woman took the mystic’s staff
and planted…

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