All posts by Benjamin Lawless

The tax break

Paul sits down across from me and the tower
of paper I call the last year of my life.
He’s probably 22, but looks 12,
and the cocky sonofabitch straightens his glasses
his tie his comfy H&R Block job
and checks his notes before saying

There’s a new stimulus package handed down from on high.
You may qualify if you promise to
lay down your pen and never write another poem.
It’s quite simple actually:
we’ll deduct every poem not written,
every moonbeam undreamt,
every gull sailing from the edge of the sea
to your lover’s arms…

He’s shaking now. This job is getting to him.
I’m not the first poet he’s seen today,
and he’s become intoxicated by the imagination he’s helped destroy.
He’s a giant hose siphoning the gas from my car,
and he’s babbling now, his arms spread wide

but I’ve stopped listening. I’m too busy spending my money,
my new mansion plucked straight from a Pottery Barn catalogue,
gold orthodontics, a trophy wife serving me diet lemonade
in glasses made from the sun, and all smiles.
Finally, I’ll be free.

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For National Poetry Writing Month, I’ve been actually writing a poem a day. This one was from the 7th.

I like poems about completely giving up poetry. I’m trapped in their irony.

It sounds bad, but its actually alright

Well, unfortunately on Friday I was laid off from BIG Images and Add Interactivity. It’s a little scary, but it’s given me the kick in the pants to actually get my business license and do my own thing full time.

I also left on very good terms. In fact, it’s kinda like I haven’t left at all given I still get to keep my desk and iMac for all my projects.

So, I’m planning on doing some major changes to this website soon. Things are actually very bright. I’m very involved with a couple of pretty large projects already.

Just thought I’d let you know.

de Blob

One of the most surprising video games I’ve played in the last year is THQ’s de Blob for the Wii. Click the link for it’s description on Wikipedia.

One of the most innovative portions of the game is it’s soundtrack, which is a funky, upbeat jazz odyssey, and is completely governed by the way you play. As you paint buildings, you build the soundtrack. If you use red, a sassy saxophone will flare up and green is a blues guitar. Eventually, as you paint more and more, the tracks crescendo and you’re grooving, literally.

Well, after a couple of weeks of looking for the soundtrack, I found it at Amazon MP3. You can get it here. Below is one of it’s tracks, a little selection called “Euphoric” in the game. Get the entire soundtrack if you like it. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Discover Simple, Private Sharing at Drop.io

My featured poetry reading

Sunday’s reading went marvelously. In fact, I felt like it was the best reading I’ve ever done.

For those who are interested, here’s one of the new poems I debuted that night:

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Johnson Elementary School’s 12th Annual Spelling Bee

Men do stupid things for women,
and in sixth grade I learned this
when Kennessa Marshall bet fellow classmate Brigham Toskin
twenty-five whole bucks
that I’d take first place in the spelling bee.

So, two weeks later I stood on the stage,
a snap-on dangling from my collar
and the microphone growling at my nose.
Without proper study habits
I neglected to study any words
more challenging than “vice president.”

The first word for me was “undaunted.”
My mouth became an aquarium
with algae sliming my cheeks over a fake coral reef
and “undaunted” lay sideways on the surface,
dead and stinky.

I had to stall, so I asked my questions,
and the judge made the facts solid for me,
that my rotting fish of a word
is synonymous with “courage,”
or the latin coraticum,
cor meaning heart —

and he never finished
because right then the windows
on all sides of the auditorium shattered.

Seats rumbled and doorways splintered.
The earthquake crawled through the aisles
and split the stage open like a pomegranate.

The rest of the contestants, still in their chairs,
fell through what was left of the stage
straight to the molten core of our planet.
There were no survivors.

And that’s how I won my sixth grade spelling bee.

The New Linkin Park Video

Love the video (could stand to do without the music), but seriously? The lead singer of your band decides that he’s tired of being lonely, and he’s going to just drive the spacecraft (possibly humanity’s last hope) into a star. The rest of the crew, after freaking out about solar flares and OMG we’re going to die, gives up and watches the star crash into them.

Let’s forget about the fact that they’ve been zooming around in space for uncountable years, and that they’ve spent 300 bajillion taxpayer dollars on their mission. No, let’s just kill everything and everyone because our lead singer is emo. What a waste.