February 2003

Kate Bernadette Benedict


Kate Bernadette Benedict Kate Bernadette Benedictís publication credits include print journals such as Slant, Rhino, ELF, Thema and The American Voice, and online journals such as Branches Quarterly, Facets and Perihelion. Kate lives in New York City and also dwells in cyberspace as a moderator at Eratosphere, the on-line poetry forum.
A Disappointment To Us All    Click to hear in real audio

It was a fiasco, a shambles,
your bid not taken, the deal dead,
no handshake, no door left open.
Your ears burn when you think of it,
your shoulders slump.
It was a disaster, a humiliation,
your voice cracking at high C,
your poem trite,
your skating clumsy,
speed and balance giving way
to vertigo and torpor.
Your play bombed.
The critics panned it, no one remembered it.
You spent months setting up the dominos
and they didn't fall.
You crammed and didn't graduate.
You primped and didn't scintillate.
You lost the tournament,
your composure,
the battle,
your probity,
the case.

She hated the gift you chose and took it back for money.
He hated the gift you chose and kept it in the drawer.
You touched her thigh in the T-Bird;
she sucked her breath and squirmed.
You had him over for caviar;
he fell asleep and snored.
It was mess,

a dud, a total washout.
You got the answers wrong,
you didn't get the questions.
You read the map and took the wrong turn
or you braked at the median.
The other drivers scowled.
You dunked the ball in the basket of the other team.
You scratched at pool
or sucked at bridge
or choked at tennis,

you disgraced yourself.
You fell from the womb ass first
with a blue cast to your complexion
and you will meet death
in a gauche accident
on the golf course, or in the bathtub,
or just croak naturally in a bed somewhere,
soiling it,
bumbling into eternity
with perfect ineptitude.




Kate Bernadette Benedict: Poetry
Copyright © 2003 The Cortland Review Issue 22The Cortland Review