Posts Tagged ‘John M Bennett’

Stefan Brandstifter of Mainz, Germany, suggested a collaborative project when he emailed digital scans of twenty-four collages he made in July 2019 when he was at The North Sea. C. Mehrl Bennett and John M. Bennett took turns working on them until they felt completed (March 2020). Enjoy the slideshow by clicking the arrows to scroll through these.

T-shirt image viewJMB & MM purple background

Above photos are a thumbnail back view of shirt and a large image of the front of the shirt! The designs on this black vispo T-shirt are collaborations by Musicmaster and John M. Bennett, done by passing the image/words back and forth via snail mail – one of the collaborative processes often used in MAIL ART.

Zazzle Site Source: Collaborative Vispo T-Shirt

If you wonder what all the fuss is about MAIL ART, let Musicmaster (aka Thomas M. Cassidy of Minneapolis, MN) fill you in during this video interview:

These “tricks” are from a worksheet written by John M. Bennett, handed out during national poetry month (April 2016), for the occasion of a workshop we were invited to give to members of the Ohio Poetry Association:

Rewrite a poem backwards
This can be done in several ways. Rearrange the poems with the words in
backward order or rearrange the lines in reverse order, for example. Or, for a
special treat, spell each word backward, drawkcab, while leaving the words
themselves in the same order, or rearrange them in reverse order, etc.
Start a poem in the middle
This can be done by rearranging an existing poem by rewriting it starting
from a point in the middle. When you reach the middle of the rewritten
poem, add the title (perhaps in bold), and continue with the “first” part of the
poem. With a little practice, you can write a poem from scratch in this way.
Constantly repeat a word or a phrase
This can create some great rhythmic effects. Don’t worry too much about
proper syntax. You can emphasize the repeated elements with italics, upper
case, etc.
Mix tenses
This can multiply the apparent number of voices and perspectives in a
poem, and have other effects. In general, you can mix syntactical and
grammatical structures to create multiple layers of meaning and resonance.
Misspell words
Use popular misspellings to create multiple voices or perspectives. You can
also create your own misspellings for expressive or performative effects.
Cut-ups and tear-ups
The numbers of ways to do this are only limited by your imagination. By
disassembling and reassembling existing texts you will discover new meanings
and resonances you might not have thought of. With some practice, you will
come to be able to write in this manner skipping the step of cutting or tearing
up. You will have found a whole new dimension of language in which to
express yourself. It is especially thrilling to cut up your own texts in these ways.
Mix languages
If you have any level of knowledge of a foreign language or languages, use
them freely in what you write. If you know no other language than your own,
learn a new one. It is amazing what this does for your ability to express
yourself in general, and to understand how language can work.
This is a kind of fake translating, in which you “translate” a text from one
language to another without regard to what a bilingual dictionary might suggest.
It is not necessary to know the language you are transducing from. One way to
do this is called “homophonic translation” in which you use words in your
language that merely “sound like” the words in the original. You can also
transduce by opening your mind to the resonant associations a word in a
source language suggest to you. It is also fun to transduce within a language: ie,
transduce an English text into a new English text.
Create a new form
All poetry has some kind of form, even so-called “free verse”. The
possibilities of creating new forms are infinite. Try writing a “formless” poem,
and then using the result as a form: that is, write more poems in the same
form. You can also modify existing forms: how about a 15-line sonnet in
which the central line is a title? You can imagine forms using any of the
techniques in this list. You can thunk of a form before you write anything, and
then see how it works. Or you can let a form evolve out of something
“formless” that you write.
Written language that cannot be “read” because it has no apparent words or
letters in it, but looks like it does. Fake writing, if you will. This is often done
with handwriting, but can also be done typographically. It can be used as a
score for Dada-like sound-poetry performance.
March 2016 – John M. Bennett

More info about John M. Bennett from the back cover of his latest publication, THE WORLD OF BURNING:

John M. Bennett’s poetry encapsulates the chaos characterizing our experience of and in this world, giving it a form and presence in words, phonemes, languages, and metaphor so compact and multi-meaningful, so ambiguous, that his poems glitter in their condensed expressive emotionality. The result is a universe that is gritty, carnal, and at the same time metaphysical and sublime, resonating in multiple worlds, cultures, times, and consciousnesses. Bennett does not “write poetry”, but uses poetry as a means of understanding and creating what cannot be understood and what cannot exist, but does very much exist in these pages. In the over 50 years of his writing, he has published more than 400 books and chapbooks, each quite different, yet distinctly Bennett, and has developed a startling variety of innovative techniques and approaches. His Select Poems appeared in 2016.

Photo of JMB taken in Japan ca. 1949 by Katherine G. Bennett or John W. Bennett

Photo of JMB taken in Japan ca. 1949 by Katherine G. Bennett or John W. Bennett

The first edition of la M al was published in 2006 by Blue Lion Books, and because it is such a classic stand out, a revised 2nd edition has consequently evolved; published by both Luna Bisonte Prods and by gradient books. 

From the opening poem, “…mumbling in the/attic “roof” out there, mud beyond my head…”, this revised and definitive 2nd edition of John M. Bennett’s classic la M al confirms its position as one of the poet’s best works. Bennett has created a unique language to express the depth and complexity (or the complexity has created the language), of thought and emotion, or emotional thought that are the core of human experience:


a laundry think .but think re diction think a congeries

of faucets faucets like yr “running-sore” a window to a

moon .“a moon all” right a tab le o yr “lips were draped…

The language swarms, swells and ebbs, shatters and recoheres, turns and returns, in patterns that resonate with all the currents, hidden and visible, of the self or selves that inhabit us. An essential book that fully realizes the possibilities of language to contain and know what is.

la M al

Cover by Jukka Pekka Kervinen and C. Mehrl Bennett

What Do We Know? — a video made by CMB during Fabio Doctorovich’s visit to OSU Thompson Library’s Special Collection.

chanchuleando 1chanchuleando 2chanchuleando 3chanchuleando 4chanchuleando 5chanchuleando 6chanchuleando 7chanchuleando 8







These works were created for one side of a collaborative accordian book. The other side involved one long horizontal collaborative work.

JMB CMB accordian side two (Click image to view large)

Only six copies of this book exist right now. 3.5″ ht. x 17″ length unfolded.

Xray-Vision-collaborative-accordian-book  JMB CMB accordian cover

Our Memorial Day weekend involved dinner served up on this year’s new back yard patio with special guest, Edward Lense, who has written collaborative cinquains with us before so was not surprised when I brought out my little notebook after we ate. Here are seven dishes I’m consequently able to serve up to you now:


Chess board

Shadows echo

Off refridgerator

Two chairs at the kitchen table



Spread thumb

Across a drum

Stirrup hits the anvil

Drinks the soap contamination

In sync


Weird dogs

Spermy leggings

Domino spots inside

Dalmations go berserk outside

The ship



To my liver

Smoky shave’d with egg

Yolks beating down the crooked path

Egg whites


Boil foot

With critter ears

Hummus and eye of newt

Tampons shredded with mosquitos

Mix well


This week’s

Broken faucets

Lost gnat shivers on hat

These are lost and found items like

Odd socks


Suit leak

Makes for sticky

Dinosaur bloody teeth

Sunk into your foaming arm pit

You stink


CLICK HERE to listen to audio file of La chair du Cenote as read by the author, John M. Bennett

La chair du Cenote, John M. Bennett, Marseille, France: Fidel Anthelme X, Collection “La Motesta”, 2013.

51 pp. book in a portfolio. ISBN 2-911867-62-9
$10 (plus $5.00 Postage & Handling) from Luna Bisonte Prods, 137 Leland Ave., Columbus, OH 43214 USA
7 Euros (plus postage) from Fidel Anthelme X, 9, boulevard CHAVE, 13005 Marseille, France

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August is tomato harvest season, and my niece asked my husband to write down this recipe for tomato sauce because she has an abundant crop of tomatoes.

Since John went through the trouble of typing this up (though he often cooks this a bit differently each time), why not share it with more people? So, for those of you who love cooking with veggies (while drinking wine!), here’s a base recipe (for tomato pasta sauce, tomato pizza sauce, etc.); it can be expanded upon in an infinite no. of ways:

drink some wine

sauté some garlic and onions (and maybe carrots and sweet peppers and celery and eggplant) in good olive oil. 

drink some wine

when transparent, splash in a little red wine to deglaze pan, start adding chopped up or blended tomatoes until pan is full and cook down, add more tomatoes, etc until sauce is almost right consistency

drink some wine

add oregano and basil, some sweet paprika and maybe some black pepper or hot pepper.  add more basil add more garlic.  add olives, capers, artichoke hearts; whatever you want

drink some wine

you can dress this up with sausage or other meat

drink some wine

a secret: add just a tiny pinch of cinnamon when you add the herbs

drink some wine

sauce is best the next day

john m. bennett

This image was my contribution to the cover of Vol.One, using globbolalia from JMB. CLICK HERE to see all three volumes at Olchar Lindsann’s Lulu print-on-demand website. These are 8.5×11″ black&white content volumes, approx. 3/4″ thick, with an insightful essay at the beginning of each one.

The authors of each introduction are:
Vol I: Bob BruekL
Vol II: Jim Leftwich
Vol III: Olchar Lindsann

Volume II and III cover art is by Al Ackerman (The Blaster) and Thomas M. Cassidy (Musicmaster), respectively (and with my utmost respect!).

ALL of these guys are excited about TEXTIS GLOBBOLALICUS, as YOU should be! (How’s that as a plug for my old man?)