Monday, August 6, 2012

A Poem by Jesi Bender

Mortir: This is a Lesson in French

Stained stones under pink ridges
These are les os, these are the broken
Perforations of skin undermined by or
Overwrought with brown lacings of dried blood
This is the ugly machine inside
Schadenfreude thick and
That painful doubt
That finally sinks into digestion
Something things just never break
This bleu, these strings holding in place
This chambered master is a quilt
Of anarchist memories
This failed poet
Full on ennui
This self-deprecating muscle
Full of its love-hate
This … je ne sais quoi.

This beating animal reverberated
Against its hollow sanctuary
Where faith remained beautiful
But always unattained
Unsteady, only hitting three instead of four,
It strove, it tried, but it never performed
To expectations
Like other organs, le cerveau par example,
Grew tired as
Eyes, les yeux, grow tired, straining,
Dry spotted, the din of die,
Like the broken skin
But there was once vert as vast as the sea
And dreams, those manifold complexities
Where desire lay hidden in its crypts,
Swam freely in its intangibility.
Le corps caged.

Now there is this,
Now there is nothing.
Haven’t yet learned of
Connections of antithesis
Or myriad meanings
Within a singularity.
Self-aborted kamikaze,
All inside moves towards light.
A gentle murder,
Though with fiery violence,
Merciful in its ultimatum -
La joie de vie for le petit mort
Seems like a fair trade
When love no longer is a factor
And the monotony becomes only
A series of mantras willing not-death
But never living.

Jesi Bender is a poet living in Manhattan's East Village. After graduating from Cornell University, she moved to New York to further her artistic growth and to pursue her Masters in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Examples of her work and her bibliography can be seen on her website -

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