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Be About It Press 2014
[ for e.e. ]
A humble prayer for the ghosts to leave me be. Jim’s dangling feet, Jordan’s hanging tongue, Randy’s madness, Robert bleeding to death on a sidewalk, let me go please but I’ve tripped enough times to see that it’s me that has shackled them to my ankle. I love you but fuck off.
If I push hard enough if I move fast enough dragging them through the streets I can see pieces of them tearing off their diseased and rotting flesh and I get lighter and I keep pushing and pushing and that’s why I have KP tattooed on my finger to remind myself to keep skating to keep moving.
I’ve fucked with corpses dragged them out of bathrooms and cut down corpses hanging on extension cords and sat on curbs in handcuffs and talked to my best friend through Plexiglas mirrors and all I’ve got is my motherfucking heart.
Using the city as it was not meant to be. We drive through the alleys and scan the environment for something that speaks to us. It’s our way, our only way, of refusing capitalism. All day we are covered in it and support it but at night we refuse it all. Stepping on a skateboard on a summer night with my friends around me is the truest thing I know, it reinvents life for me, forces me to be present.
The whores, they took care of me. And I loved them for it.
You see, I was like a newborn shitting my pants, I couldn't hold a glass of water to my lips, but the whores cared for me.
I never fucked any of them. I thought about it, but they came into my room during the day, when the brothel was closed, and they didn't seem in the fucking mood.
After I healed up, I asked for some books and a notebook. They asked "what books?" and I said any of them.
They brought me books on Christian mysticism and Zen Buddhism, Russian short stories and postmodern whacked out American shit.
I started shadow boxing at night. Push-ups and sit-ups. I ate three meals a day. I gained forty pounds. I stopped shaving and let my hair grow.
The whores asked if I wanted to help them, I said of course, they told me to walk around at night, hangout by the fire. Make sure everything was okay. I said okay.
Sometimes, dudes would get a little rough with one of the whores and I'd blackout. Wake up with bloody fists and a limp body underneath me. "We'll handle it,” they'd say and I'd go take a shower.
The scars on my hands would heal and I'd sit in the dining room thinking, "I don't want to be violent."
I am not a big enough fool to think that I could have stopped him after the decision had been made, or even weeks and months in advance but I do play with the idea that if somehow I had been a better friend than that + other good things in his life it would sort of displaced the feeling like the small drop of water that causes the whole to spill over the drop was inconsequential and tiny as fuck but it did something and maybe if I was just a better person that would happen and you would think I would learn something from it but no it has only made me disgusted at myself and in turn I take it out on others I lash out at them I try to hurt them I want to see them suffer a bit after I say a thing that I know will sting it ’s like while by myself I feel like my lip is curled but it really isn't but I’m just sort of like disgusted at everything and this includes myself I do not want to save myself and when I get to this point I don't want to save him anymore because he made a true decision the only thing we have any real agency or freedom over is if we endure or we take ourselves out and they look the same to me. This is a prayer this is my penance. Dragging corpses of dead fathers and dead friends.
Once you have done bad things once you have acted on terrible thoughts the world changes for you it becomes a place without limits a place that was once constructed to contain certain things has now been broken open because you realize your own humanity and you can choose to go either way with this really it doesn't matter or wait yes it does matter. Same thing if bad things are done to you. I imagine a child that was molested often and systematically and is all grown up or a woman raped or a man in war these people are my people: are you one of them? Are you so fucked that everything is permitted? You don't believe in anything do you? But you scratch and crawl and try to find something every day to believe in and yet the hate keeps coming not like I’m asking for it, it just happens, it just comes it’s a physical reaction that has built up up up up and up.
Last week at a safety meeting they told us not to look at the women and if a girl says "hello" all we can do is say "hi" back but we cannot have a conversation and if we are alone on an elevator and a woman gets on then we have to get off. I imagined myself on the elevator and the doors opening and a girl walking in and me walking out and she looks at me confused because it’s obvious I left the elevator because of her arrival and not because it was the floor I wanted to get off on and so she looks at me and I say "They said I was going to rape you."
My grandfather wore three toothpicks in his beanie. This meant for every ten dollars he made three would go to the boss. My grandfather did this so he could bury his father. If he wore one toothpick like he usually did, the boss wouldn't pick him and he'd be left standing there like the dejected lone student in an elementary school yard.
His dad died in his sleep.
His dad robbed a house and got bit by a dog my grandfather standing watching him looking up at him stitch his own eye shut.
My grandfather standing in the doorway detoxing so hard off booze that his hands shaking in his pockets are rattling around the change.
My grandfather detoxing so hard off booze my mother holds the cup of water to his lips to swallow the Valium.
My grandfather taking me on a walk when I got out of rehab telling me that god has never spoken to him but the rocks do.
My father did three calendars and when he showed up at my mother ’s house he asked if he could take me to the library.
I didn't know and still don't know my father.
I have terrible anxiety around the man. As if while I was in my mother’s womb and he was always calling to get bailed out I inherited her own disgust and stress. A Survival mechanism that screamed stay away from this man. He is poison. Spit blood in his eyes and get him out of your brain.
We took the bus to the library because he didn't have a car. The feds took it as evidence.
I felt embarrassed in public with him. Like people knew. When I was twenty-two and Justin’s house got raided I sat in cuffs as the cop looked up after putting in my information and said "just like dad huh?" and I said, "No I fucked your wife in the ass."
I sat in the corner while my dad went looking through the stacks. I didn't know why I was there. I didn't know the man I was with. My first memory is of my mother and sister crying because of his sentence and my little baby brain made the equation father=suffering. I hated him for making them cry.
My father has been useful for one thing and it is titled "how not to be a good man."
He finally appeared at the table I was at and put a stack of Steinbeck, Faulkner and Hemingway in front of me and said these will help. He left and I took the bus home alone. He caught another case two weeks later.
None of those books helped me.
Always screaming in my head "I am nothing like him."
cory bennet is alive in california
image found searching “burnt nostrils,” this is not an author pic
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