Bruce Bennett



There’s a flea on my keyboard. I guess I should stop
and make it go elsewhere. I can’t call a cop.
But wait! It’s a blessing. Look. See what I’ve done?
I have written a poem where before there was none.

I am grateful, but still must get rid of the flea.
But now I can’t find it. I guess it’s on me.
I have given it meaning. We all play a part.
And once more I will suffer because of my art.

The moral is simple. The lesson is drawn.
Make use of a nuisance before it is gone.
The poem may be nothing. It may be a dud.
But what will you lose but a little more blood?

A little more blood, and a little more time.
But think. Just suppose it does last as a rhyme?
Immortal, as much as a mortal can be,
I’ll be timeless like Donne, on account of a flea.


I pushed the envelope, and what
do I have now? A paper cut!

Bruce Bennett‘s most recent book is Just Another Day in Just Our Town: Poems New And Selected, 2000-2016 (Orchises Press, 2017). FootHills has recently published Our Rough Beast: The Year of Trump, a sequel to The Donald Trump of the Republic, and a letterpress chapbook, First Reader: An Homage to David Berman, is new from Wells College Press. Bennett is Professor Emeritus of English at Wells College in Aurora, NY, where he taught literature and creative writing from 1973 to 2014.