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Blockbuster Poem IX

This week, listening to the sounds of Mr. Benjamin.

Clint Burnham 24 Sep

Clint Burnham is a Vancouver writer and critic. His books include Rental Van (poetry, 2007), Smoke Show (novel, 2005; nominated for the B.C. Book Prize that year), Buddyland (poetry, 2000), Airborne Photo (short stories, 1999), and Be Labour Reading (poetry, 1997). Benjamin Sonnets was published by BookThug in 2010. He also writes frequently on contemporary art, in such venues as, Flash Art, Camera Austria, The Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, C Magazine, fillip, Pyramid Power, etc. He teaches English at Simon Fraser University. A newish poem can be viewed here. He can be followed on twitter @Prof_Clinty.

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Who's this guy Benjamin? Read on.

[Editor's Note: This is the ninth of 10 current Canadian 'blockbuster poems' running each Friday in The Tyee. Find out about the idea of the series and read the previous poems here.]


Dubai Sega Canfor's poison spill
Sabre jet Glock 'n' dog basement
Shaft a lice coming rye eye die opener
an mare nicked salty
nick be halt ten
inter Rick stupor

Duran from suit naming mine
Mr. Lehrer dirt hat ta!
schlemiel peters de-shat in
den tofu dervish


divorce haul WAP-ing yay dirtbike
her stain & fuzzy jazz harbour
, wonder garter belt have shied nay
eying Nixon mayor for Aruba
Inner. sea order higher shave
swear, un-sandie braise sue leg'n onion
nuns drank ibis piss door given rice

her brand t-shirt store touch gas, finicky
house gang. dats conte emit knee
vague zoo macho hen dirt mic 'interrupted
is her father's rapping, feed her off my
den Laden brandish life beer aint I?
stealth foreign vermin sick mith

27 IV 07

Two pages from Benjamin Sonnets, BookThug, 2010.

Note: the poems in Benjamin Sonnets are homophonic translations of Walter Benjamin's childhood memoir, Berliner Kindheit um neunzehundert (1938). Find out more about the famous philosopher essayist here.  [Tyee]

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