Roxanna Bennett: Four Poems

Voight-Kampff Test

There is a maker’s serial number. Not fish, snake.
Use your new friend as a personal body servant
or a tireless field hand. A basic pleasure model.
It’s too bad she won’t live. But then again, who does?
                                                   –Blade Runner

Nothing was on demand, it was please, say please.
You can edit out the racist mice but we
remember the cathode ray implant of hate.
We sat on towel islands in seas of vomited-on shag
holding our noses through Pepe LaPew who stalked
and date-raped cats and we laughed. We should take
a left turn at Albuquerque, back to cartoons once
a week and sacred. Nothing was instant but punishment.
We couldn’t buy anything on Sundays but absolution’s ache.
There is a maker’s serial number. Not fish, snake.


Never has one generation laboured so hard to give
the next something to cry about. Everyone who
remembered us is dead, gone like pay phones
and afternoons at the record shop, got it, want it,
need it. We lived in the hissing pop, patient scratch
of vinyl, one side at a time before podcast sermons
and hashtagging our beliefs. We had to wait,
is what that meant. We love you, wretched hub
of scum and villainy, your dark bottom of purchase,
Use your new friend as a personal body servant

you sewer of accessibility, we lost and used.
All this self reflection, this mirrored everything,
decades dissolved, Instagram filters followed.
We didn’t become atheists to spend our dwindling
years feeling stabby. Take your puppies, your mad
cats, land crabs, marmosets, your narwhals,
your daily cries. Take it back, it ages us, inspirational
outrage, no, we don’t want to be uplifted. What makes
you think we dreamed of being coddled
or a tireless field hand. A basic pleasure model.

There was a time when people moved and we never
saw them again. We graduated, grew up, left.
Now you can’t ever escape, every tweep a True Detective.
No one promised us rocket cars, jet packs, but ruthless replicants
we expected to fuck are our due. I don’t know if my memories
are mine. Do you? We love you but you’re killing us,
up against the wall, stripped of privilege, and we deserve it, yes.
Something bleeds us in our sleep, something creeping us
to peep nothing we wouldn’t believe. There is always a cost.
It’s too bad she won’t live. But then again, who does?


For the 55th Companion

Even the most autonomous among
us turned out to be a prop. It’s bigger on
the inside but he’s just a man who loves a box.
Bundled into the warm breath of a million
mother tongues, ghosts bunched behind us
like half-deflated balloons, key in the collective
casuistry of travel all of time and space
the skin between worlds is the width of a kiss
that never arrives, ages or blinks. Spoilers,
darling, if you think you’re singular,
the universe is full of clever girls
identical in quirk but only one monster
is the oncoming storm so listen: He’ll exterminate
a sun just to say good-bye, don’t hesitate.
Run, you clever girl. Run.


Rarely & Only

place begin:
scarce evidence & conflicting accounts
trusted & experienced friend
fellow victims & perpetrators
saw & ignored
fragmentary & contradictory
evidence & talk
questions & remarks
scrutiny & skepticism
misleading practices
painful & humbling
deep & profound
powerlessness & self-blame
rarely & only


5 Cats That Are So Over The Patriarchy

This Impressive 2 Headed Snake Is The Patriarchy
11 Animals With Genetic Mutations That Are The Patriarchy
An Australian Zoologist Discovered A Mutated Version of The Patriarchy
This Horrifying Creature Washing Up On The Jersey Shore Is The Patriarchy

These Mysterious Holes In The Earth Are The Patriarchy
These Archaeologists Were Excavating The Patriarchy
23 Weird History Facts That Are Actually The Patriarchy
Space Debris Is Real And So Is The Patriarchy

What Doctors Found Inside This Woman’s Brain Is The Patriarchy
This Unicorn Woman Has A Rare And Painful Growth That Is The Patriarchy
These 10 Couples Take The Prize for The Patriarchy
They Were Having a Dream Vacation Until The Patriarchy

10 Of The Most Hilarious Deaths From The Patriarchy
A Woman Installed a Security Camera In Her Home And Discovered The Patriarchy
What These Young Girls Did While Their Home Was Being Broken Into Is The Patriarchy
Her Boyfriend Tried To Brutally Murder Her is The Patriarchy



Roxanna Bennett is the author of Uncertainty Principle: Poems (Tightrope Books, 2014). Her work has appeared in the National Post, Bitch Magazine, The Dalhousie Review, Existere, Arc, Vallum, CV2, Cosmonauts Avenue, Qwerty, The Puritan, and many other publications. She lives in Whitby, Ontario.

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