Thursday, December 9, 2010

Drive By: Shards and Poems by John Bennett, reviewed by BL Kennedy




Drive By: Shards & Poems

John Bennett

Lummox Press
San Pedro, CA
ISBN: 978-1-929878-09-3
140 pgs
$15.00






Fear & Understanding


It scares me
what you write
a woman said
recently.
I don’t
understand it.

You understand it
more than you
realize
if it
scares you
I said,
& then she looked
really scared.


I will simply put it this way; I think that John Bennett is one of the best goddamn writers of short poetry (he calls them ‘shards) on the Northwest coast. I have known John Bennett for some years and I am ever amazed at the man’s literary outpour as a poet and an author. I can’t begin to tell you that when I read John Bennett at times, I have a feeling that I am a witness to greatness. He is that badass.

This collection Drive By: Shards and Poems continually fascinates me, because there is just something in Bennett’s writing that crawls up your spine and rips out the backbone. These are very readable, down to earth, genuine, and yet unique in their own way. I guess that I am a captive fan, because in John Bennett, I see the ghost of Jack Kerouac, drunk some heavy balls and lots of brains. The shards are lyrical. You cannot categorize them. It is my opinion that Bennett, as a poet, is simply true to himself. And what more can a reader ask for?

You know, it’s kinda like listening to the best Beatles song ever, whatever the hell that may be. John Bennett is a voice to reckon with who has been around since the Beat era. I could only say that along with Jack Hirschman, Bennett is the heartbeat of contemporary American literature. The shards will seduce you with the slow wisp of a Blues harmonica and a meaningful dance of your soul. Yeah, if you have the chance, buy Drive By: Shards and Poems. It’s one of those books that I would just not pass up, for Bennett is a poet of heart, voice, and verse that will simply kick your ass and leave you asking for more.

Order from Lummox Press.

4 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

Never heard of him. But then I've never heard of anyone and I suppose they've never heard of me which keeps things fair. I loved this poem and so did some digging and found a few more. He is definitely my kind of a poet. Couldn't see a blog or anything.

rjs said...

jim, john bennett has been writing & publishing since the 60s; an original in the mimeo revolution of that era, he published Bukowski, Lifshin, Masarik, Micheline, Wantling, Blazek, Menebroker, Linda King, T.L. Kryss, d.a. levy, Curt Johnson among others...i must have 4 dozen books he produced...here's his new pressname & website:

http://www.hcolompress.com/

Jim Murdoch said...

Thanks, rjs. I've had a dig about. If you google "john bennett shards" there're a few pieces online too.

Pris said...

He's the cat's meow!

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