s
s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MLC

GO TO MLC HOMEPAGE


FOOL FOR POETRY
INTERNATIONAL CHAPBOOK
COMPETITION 2017


 

submit
Submit to Southword

 

 

ONLINE BOOKSTORE FEATURED TITLES

 

New Irish Voices
Poetry chapbooks by
Roisin Kelly & Paul McMahon

 

 

Liberty Walks Naked
by Maram al-Masri, trans. Theo Dorgan

 

 

Done Dating DJs
Done Dating DJs
by Jennifer Minniti-Shippey
Winner, 2008 Fool for Poetry Competition

 

 

Richesses

Richesses: Francophone Songwriter Poets
Edited and translated by Aidan Hayes

 

 

 

 

Munster Literature Centre

Create your badge

 

 

 

 

 

Arts Council

 

 

Cork City Council

 

 

Foras na Gaeilge

 

 

Cork County Council

   

 

 

BENJAMIN HERTWIG

 

 

 

Benjamin Hertwig is a former soldier and PhD student whose writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in the New York Times, NPR, the Nottingham Review, Pleiades, Matrix, Sugar House Review, Maine Review, and the Literary Review of Canada. His debut book of poems, Slow War, is coming out with McGill-Queen's in the fall of 2017.

 

 

 

 

The Bedbug

 

A bedbug wandered across my bed sheet at dawn,

a period tumbling across a blank sheet of paper:

an explorer. Last night two brothers were arguing

in the parking lot behind my condo and one almost

killed the other, some real Cain and Abel shit. How

do I know they were brothers? Someone screamed:

they’re brothers! I’ve seen fights like it before. Two

soldiers from the 10th Mountain. Kandahar. A beef.

Determined to beat rage into a ramp ceremony home.

                          

So I walked outside. It’s snowing these fat, wet flakes.

I’ve always loved Christmas and try to stop the fight,

but they try to fight me instead. The cops arrive—I 

provide a statement: two bros pounding the shit out of

anyone close, mostly themselves. I fall asleep. At dawn

the bedbug wanders across the calm of my morning,

so I pluck it up and flush it away. The pest-guy comes

after lunch and checks for more bugs. He doesn’t find

any, but my old Scottish neighbour knocks on the door.

 

In short: he thought he was dying but wasn’t, so we

open a bottle, and the bottle lasts the whole afternoon.

I describe it all—the blood in the snow, the bedbug,

the brothers, and ask him who do we hate and how?

I don’t get an answer. He’s already happy & drunk,

shouting something about Donne, two bloods mingling,

and it makes me happy in an irritated kind of way. But

it’s evening now. He’s been gone for a while. War is over

for me: I made it home. I’m still angry about something.

 

 

©2017 Benjamin Hertwig

 

 

Author Links

 

Benjamin Hertwig's website

Follow Benjamin on Twitter

Buy Slow War on Amazon

 

 

 

CONTENTS BACK TO TOP NEXT POEM

 

 

   
 
©2009 Southword Editions
and
Munster Literature Centre
   

Southword 6 Southword No 7 Southword No 8 Southword No 9 Southword No 10 Southword 11 southword 12 Southword No 14 Southword No 15