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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Julie Benesh

Spare me the organ recital

such music only decomposes

I just want to know how

not to be ashamed of my panicula

my varicosities and lipid count

how not to trigger a spiral into aboulia

Spare me your liturgy of forgetfulness

subtle arguments you draw

that end in draws

your litany of filtered memories

like a junk drawer of dreams

you mistake for ours

Spare me your

semiotics of piety

to be a martyr is grave

as victim is gravity

as default

tell me how you talk yourself up

in the morning

down at night to sleep

under the same dark blanket

as the rest of us

the none of us who ever

were or ever will

be spared


Julie Benesh is recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant and graduate of Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers. Her work has appeared in Bestial Noise: A Tin House Fiction Reader, Tin House Magazine (print), Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Gulf Stream, Hobart, Cleaver, and other places. Read more at

"This poem was immensely satisfying to write; it did not take long, and the revisions were minimal, mainly involving line breaks and stanza shapes. I believe SPARE is the first poem I have ever finished completely devoid of punctuation. It occurred to me only after finishing it that the word 'spare' is a contronym, meaning both excess and no excess; plenty and restraint! I can imagine cracking this poem open to yield future "spare" poems, whether more expansive or less so."


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