Monday, April 29, 2013

Three Poems by Ben Adams

big ships
she is lying on the
bed, still
sleeping, naked legs spread out
one arm
below small breasts

sunlight falls through the morning
over pale skin
and tangled auburn hair

while out the window there
are mountains
across the bay

and big ships on the water
moving so slowly
they appear

moving through sad middles of nowhere
there are things
that grow older with you
count the numbers
on the stops
toward jobs
and appointments, drinks
and petty conversations
drive the highway at night
towards people and towns and odd celebrations
there are things
that grow older
and when they go
you feel it
like a toothache
or dull cancer—
dead-end jobs and rusting cars
and women
die finally in one-
or-another bleeding way
and that is fine
and you feel it only
like tired muscles
or mindless paperwork
a bus stop in the sad middle
of nowhere
stopping a moment
moving off.

Vancouver, B.C.

what I liked most about the place was
waking up on cold, early mornings
lying tired and hungry
in unwashed sheets for a few more

then rising, dressing, looking
at the bright, clean sun through
the window of my sixth floor dorm room
at the university, making
my way downstairs, across campus

over thin, crisp snow
and slippery pavement to
the coffee grind for caffeine breakfast,
and smoking a cigarette on the union building steps
before class.

what I liked most about the place
was drinking at the gallery lounge
on a Wednesday night,
wearing always the same boots & jacket
the music playing loud

and the way your eyes remained on me
your fingers curling a strand
of hair from my face,
before stepping away.

what I liked most about the place
was evenings over the west end
the sodium lights struggling to come on
while Stanley Park’s tree line rose, silhouette-alone
across the harbour

like some dark horizon waiting
to be reached, like doors opened
into unlit rooms,
the sound of air traffic landing
on rain-slick tarmac.

what I liked most about the place was
washing those sheets just in time
before you finally knocked,
and your sleeping body stretched out
in the morning.

what I liked most about the place was
of that,

and, of course, remembering it
Ben Adams is a writer and political ranter currently studying for his PhD on the poetry of Charles Bukowski. He comes from Adelaide in South Australia, which Salman Rushdie once called a sleepy conservative town (of 1.2 million) and “ideal setting for a Stephen King novel, or horror film.” Ben takes this as a compliment, much preferring King’s work to that of Mr Rushdie. Ben has also worked as state ambassador for Express Media’s National Young Writers’ Month, a Buzzcuts arts reviewer and coordinator, and had several poems appear in the online small press. He proudly served among those last few video store clerks to hold their ground against the coming of Netflix. More at

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