Ben Newell

by Horror Sleaze Trash on October 29, 2013

photo
Ben Newell works as a clerk at the Millsaps College Library in Jackson, Mississippi.  His work, prose and poetry, has appeared in Hustler Fantasies, My Favorite Bullet, Nerve Cowboy, Trajectory, Zygote in my Coffee, and others.
disengage

 

I taught high school English
for
one day,
bailed
on
day two,
didn’t
say a word,
just walked down the hall, out the door, across the parking lot
to my car
and
drove home.
Some
hours later,
I ate my sack lunch, fortifying myself to turn on the phone
and
face
the inevitable.
The Headmaster
was
furious; he said he couldn’t believe what I had done, that in all his years as an educator this
was
a first.  He even threatened legal action—
“You need help,” he said.  “You’ve got serious problems, son.”
“I’m not your son,” I said.  “My father is dead.”
Then I hung up, cutting him off
in
mid-sentence.  Not because
he was wrong
but
because
he was right
and
I was still
hungry.



do not overinflate


It’s that time of year again;
they’ve got
the
big ass inflatable Frankenstein
anchored
to the ground
with rope
secured to steel spikes,
riveted
beside this congested thoroughfare,
watching
us
as we come and go,
in and out,
morning and evening,
a mere preamble
before things get serious
and they bring out
one of us—
A soldier in desert fatigues.
A convict in a red jumpsuit.
A humpbacked old crone.
A rotting corpse.
Waving
and dancing,
hoisting corporate neon,
reminding us,
all of
us,
pointing
the way.



light smoker


I
only smoke
on
Saturdays and Sundays
and
never prior to five o’clock
as
that’s when I start drinking
and
drinking with no smoke
is like
eating a hotdog with no mustard.
4 to 6 cigarettes
each night.  Newport
red
shorts;
untouched throughout the workweek,
so lonely and dejected
there
on my kitchenette counter,
I’m surprised they don’t
smoke themselves—
They say
separation [or is it distance?] makes
the heart grow fonder,
a tired phrase,
but often true.  And
I’ll be sure
to relate all of this
to my oncologist
when
we discuss
the final option.



pink slime


I certainly don’t condone
random acts
of
senseless violence,
but
there are times,
at my lowest,
when news
of
yet another
mass shooting
actually gives
me hope.
Maybe
the contagion
will bleed
into my space,
taking me out
as I
take a bite
from a
Quarter Pounder,
smearing my brains
across
polished glass.

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