SECTION ELEVEN 

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COLUMN SIXTY-NINE, MARCH 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)

BOOK REVIEWS

WE DON't NEED YOUR STINKING BADGES by John Bennett, Butcher Shop Press, 30 West St Apt 1B, Oneonta, NY 13820. 2001: (s/s 28pp) Original Limited Edition #5/100
Illustrated cover by John L. Harter
Introduction by Mark Terrill

        
(Copyright " 2001 Joyce Metzger)

John Bennett became a dynamic word to contemporary poets from his earliest days with Vagabond, in the sixties, when his publication was produced on a hand-cranked mimeo machine.  Bennett was quick to recognize other poetic genius, catch their words, then add them to Vagabond.  Genius recognizing the same?

Now, we are into a new millennium and John is still slinging out words from his heavy caliber gun-belt, aiming that business  end of his double-barreled buffalo gun straight at your eyes, or heart, or mind.  Choose  your soft spot.  Chances are, scatter-shot words will deeply pierce all those areas and  buck shot shards are difficult to extract from soft brain cells.

The ability of the shard is to divide, then sub-divide like protoplasmic acellular, or unicellular amoeboids (which includes the naked rhizopod life cycles within a parasitic habitat), and that isn't just pot-cheese curds, fellow readers.  The shard lives like still surviving gar-fish which existed during the dinosaur age.  The shard, many believe, was an offspring from stream-of-consciousness musing. But rather than throw in the blanket after interest waned, the shard took on the form of a jagged-edged glassine implementation, thanks to John Bennett.

Who can understand the workings of nature?  John Bennett has mastered the art-form of shard writing; that is our only concern in this book review.

      --Let's all pitch in. Lend a hand. Roll up our sleeves and tie off for the shot
      in the arm. PA-FUMMM, and in goes the joy juice.  Synthetic nirvana?  

      --Five hundred words is all it takes to get you from cradle to grave.  All
      it takes to catch a bus, buy a turnip, get laid.  Five hundred words and pocket
      change, a portfolio full of caption-less photos, a hand cranked victrola.

      --Cowards curl up in tornadoes.

      --There are at least a million ways to skin a cat, to get fat in the outback of
       a drunk-tank Australia, to round up suspects who drift willy-nilly thru the
       checkpoints?  

       --Life is over before it begins. There's childhood and death, nothing much
       in between.  

John Bennett throws out shards like bonfire sparks.  And a tiny fragment of either can cause a rip-roaring brabble brain-twister conflagration.  After the forest fire, new green begins.  After John's shards burrow to the bone, those afflicted shake their heads, stunned by the accumulated wisdom. They have absorbed more in one day from this book, than in a year of reading other, mundane versification.

Bravo to John Bennett for these audacious shards, and to Butcher Block Press for zeroing-in on an authentic poetic genius. ##

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