Doctors found four bees in her eyes eating her tears.





yesterday a black hole

tomorrow a leak

dragged out

by his legs

different news today

a desperate nonsense

deeply felt




my squalor                              is buzzing

your stick candy                                  is buzzing

my sticky last year                                          is buzzing

your sturdy trunk saw                                                 is buzzing

an acorn in the shape of a horseshow                                   is buzzing




no I mean horseshoe

no I mean clover

no I mean rabbit’s foot

one out the door

one in the stew

no I mean stain

no I mean strain




lucky                she didn’t rub at her eyes

lucky                her vision was impaired and corrected

lucky                the doctors dragged them out by their legs

lucky             they ate

and they ate up her tears


Reasonable Cost



There are no dollar signs

next to the prices

on my poems

because it makes

their cost seem more

reasonable. I wanted

to be a soldier once.

More than once. I wanted

you to know this. About

the reasonable cost.

Reasonable cost is a phrase

for war, even though

there aren’t any

wars in my poems

per se.



Ben Pelhan is a London-based American. He founded Line Assembly, a poetry education and performance tour with accompanying documentary now in post-production. His poems have appeared/are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, BOMB Magazine, Fairy Tale Review, and Hobart, among others. You can follow @benpelhan on Instagram to see pictures of his dog and the occasional London elephant sighting.

Back to TIMBER 9.2