Poetry from Jon Bennett


There’s a new oddball in town 

I see him on 6th, 

the Tenderloin, the Marina, all over 

This man has made enormous shoes  

out of garbage: 

inner tubes, rags, 

plastic bags, pieces of foam and bark 

These foot rafts 

are up to a yard long 

causing him to walk with visible strain 

sweat on his brow 

But sometimes the shoes shrink 

and he flies along  

at a near sprint 

Down at Chrissy Field 

I finally asked him, 

“What’s the deal with the shoes?” 

He paused, smiled at me, and said, 

“The greater the surface area 

attaching me to your planet 

the less likely I am 

to float  


Someone Likes You 

I deleted the dating profile 

then rewrote it  

added some links  

and deleted it again 

Now that it’s blank 

I get these messages, 

“Someone Likes You!” 

and a picture of a ballerina 

or a pole vaulter 

a picture of Farrah Fawcett 

a picture of an alien vampire goddess 

or an irresistible succubus 

selling me  

false hope 

false hope 

false hope 

until I take to the streets

I am Igor,

hunched, hungry 

begging the dealers 

the aqua lung-ed bung squatters 

the remains of pigeons, dogs and televisions 

on my beloved San Francisco sidewalks 

“Do you like me?  

Does anyone?  

Could anyone? 

And, if so, how much 

would it cost?”

The Echo Chamber of My Heart 

“You say you don’t 

have a girlfriend because you’re fat 

but that 

is not the reason! 

Women like 

someone sweet.” 

She’s right, and in this pandemic 

I’ve come to realize 

nothing much has changed for me 

The same longing  

rattles around 

in the echo chamber of my heart 

I could say the heart hardened 

but no, the longing 

is what changed 

only a low buzz now, 

like tinnitus, 

an annoyance rather 

than a plague.