Aug 262011

Ben Evans is the executive editor of the arts review Fogged Clarity and a contributing writer for The Huffington Post’s Arts Section. A fascinating real-time study in new media, Fogged Clarity’s editorial vision showcases emotionally forward poetry, fiction, art, music, and interviews to thousands of monthly visitors.

So it’s no surprise that Ben’s own poems scrutinize experience, perception, and consciousness with resonate undertones of vulnerability and the all too human need to seek. There is an omnipresent “now” in his poems, suggestive perhaps of that perpetually slipping vantage point many of us attempt to understand through writing.

Ben’s work has appeared in Sugar House Review, Gargoyle, and Illya’s Honey, among other journals and newspapers.  He is currently studying poetry under Garrett Hongo at the University of Oregon. We are excited to feature his poems here on Numéro Cinq.

—Martin Balgach


“Couplets (in Meditation of Self-Defeat)” and “Western Tenet”

Poems by Benjamin Evans


Couplets (in Meditation of Self-Defeat)

A pitch through time zones
this gambit made for a home

that edified panic and hard hours
as some lesson or encased flower

to be smelled on that rare occasion
of freedom, that 10-minute kingdom

I could crack when my mind resigned
its clumsy adherence to myths and signs.

That is what one longs for: bondage?
More headaches unsoothed by coffee mug adages?

Yes. The passion dance shakes curated frailty,
sweet haven of doubt.  Earth, the ailing,

will have.  Fold in on oneself and wait
for sanction. Breathe air of those not sated.

Where the heart is: home.  Take it on the road,
hide it in bars and tins and bottles and float

the same streets you faltered.  Never get up;
never, never get up.  Self-inflict the glorified glut,

that was your first and only haunt.  Chant the doggerels
of life everlasting where want is a tempestuous curl

stretched and springing, always springing, back
to the tight coil of madness—night and its bluest black.


Western Tenet

Across the echo stretch of Omaha a copper hook
of moon floods the scarce wonder of my middle country.

The absent thrill of periphery, the fusing of pairs
for substance, are things I was never taught.

Close the windows, flick the radio, keep going.
Joni trumpets the pitch, billows in the lyric of night.

Music, its spastic thrall, embers in Wyoming
but the morning has a pale and clinical hum.

I carry quiet in blurred sight, but carry nonetheless,
widowed from phantom and the most harrowing charges.

Sleep is the name that burns white in Cheyenne, but this
is not travel, it is intent—A yawned song so that they may

speak my son’s name.  Lazy turbines churn above small
rivers where I pause to swim in tiny reclamations of

purchase.  Until, finally a desert, where I am
allowed soft thrashes beneath a moon, now whole.


Hear the tenured moan of the philistine, learning hard amidst
strength and excuse.  Listen to cellos played and cracked clean

on a sore I-80 numbed by twilight—that wraith, that diamond,
that twisting distillation that precedes a cold glean of utterances.

Stitching great gaps in the black line behind, there is nothing left
to be cleansed but the tailor himself.  The frivolous absolution needed to

close the windows, flick the radio, keep going.

—Benjamin Evans

Read an interview with Ben Evans in the Sonora Review

  2 Responses to ““Couplets (in Meditation of Self-Defeat)” and “Western Tenet” | Poems — Benjamin Evans”

  1. Nice! Kind thanks to the poet, Benjamin Evans, for sharing these words, and to Martin Balgach for introducing these works here. I feel as though I just traveled west in I-80 with the radio on, all the way to Cheyenne.

  2. Thank, Ben, for these lovely poems. Great to make your acquaintance on NC.

    And thanks, Martin, for posting these,

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