Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Nina Bennett

Pluto Becomes an Un-Planet

What must it feel like to no longer be a planet
when all you’ve ever known is the awe
of schoolchildren as they memorize your name.
You’ve been studied and written about,
the subject of dissertations and journal articles.
It must be disconcerting
to be dethroned after all this time,
to no longer fit in where
you once belonged. I guess now
you will be removed from mobiles and science projects.

Do you suppose Pete Best and Brian Jones
felt like you? Kicked out
of the bands they helped form,
watching as their former mates explode
into fame and fortune without them.
Demoted to hot air and gas,
one to die an ignoble death in his own backyard,
the other defiantly performing his early songs after decades of silence.

Break On Through

                 for Jim Morrison

Come see where it all began he whispered,
so I went to California for inspiration.
Lulled by the sun, I sank
into the sand of Venice Beach, where
the Pacific raced up to greet me,
hesitated, retreated like a toddler
realizing he’s run to the wrong mother.
I sat on the beach the entire damn day
yet still my journal was empty.
Meet me in Paris, it will be better there.
He sang in my dreams, seduced me with names --
Balzac, Proust, Moliere, Gertrude Stein --
and I soared across the ocean on an overnight flight,
arriving in Charles deGaulle at 7:30 a.m.
I sat in a wrought iron chair
at a small boulangerie where my bare arms
matched the salmon-colored linen napkin
lining the basket of croissants;
my pages remained blank.
Drunk with jet lag, my sandals
stumbled and slipped on the cobblestones
leading to Pere Lachaise cemetery, where he
waited by the Poets’ Corner.
You lied, I hissed. I still can’t write,
and I flung my notebook onto the others
piled next to his grave.

©2007 by Nina Bennett

Nina Bennett is the author of Forgotten Tears A Grandmother's Journey Through Grief. Her articles have been published in Grief Digest, MISSing Angels, and A Different Kind of Parenting. Nina was one of 8 poets selected by the poet laureate of Delaware to participate in the 2006 writers' workshop. For more information see her Web site.

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