James Bennett

five waking hours



lights out ambitiously early. turn over.  arm under pillow. breathe in. sigh.

think of a nice thing that could happen to you.

a wank usually helps. dozy post-cum is one of your least annoying selves and might actually let you sleep. porn or imagination? feels like an imagination night. who will it be? someone easy. marlon brando in streetcar. this one is all about the biceps. you begin at the hands and allow the gaze to move upwards along the normal-sized forearms. and then bang. they explode like two cartoon bombs. how did they even get there? nobody lifted weights in the fifties.

start off slowly but then get lazy or carried away. not bothered drawing it out. cum in today’s underwear left carefully beside the bed for this purpose. make an effort to feel it from the tip of your dick all the way back to your prostate and as far as the anus. cheap and cheerful. throw the boxers on the floor.

your brain sends you dark mists. enjoy them. you are so close to sleep now if only you can manage not to want anything. avoid the drink of water and the post-cum piss and you are gone. but these things are rarely avoided.

reliably it is the piss that gets you up. don’t want to wet the bed. you don’t do that anymore. because you have put it off for as long as possible some semen has coagulated in the urethra and there is a three second delay from the release of the sphincter to the appearance of the urine stream. it appears two-pronged. the dried cum snake-tongued your piss. this is rock and roll.

back to bed now and i am awake. thinking of concrete things. the worst.



count the sheep maybe. except instead of sheep it’s all the good things that are gone. berlin in the twenties and new york in the seventies. and penny lane from almost famous. but they didn’t know the things we know. there was more space on the dancefloor. now there are all these men who want to shake your hand. it’s disheartening.

what exactly are you lamenting? images of dead cities or your metaphorically cluttered dancefloor? sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

let’s all put on our serious faces and think about world war two.

no one moves to touch you here. why is that? want and do not want this.

at times like this i often almost save myself by becoming sentimental. but i hate sentimentality. it’s the new folk religion. they serve it up daily in the church of the culture (which incidentally is the culture itself) (welcome to the meta-incestuous spirituality). older folk religions looked like a wise combination of grit and mercy. now it’s all mercy and no grit which in the end helps no one but gets a lot of quotes posted on instagram.

sometimes i wonder if i’m just an arsehole. not that it would make any difference.

when you want to hurt yourself you are unstoppable. the mind jumps into the mincer and the body turns the handle. then they get sad and miss each other. by which time one of them has been minced. and it was the other one that did it.

i feel sick now i really do.

it’s been so long. it occurs to me that i am a monk and that there are things in the culture that aren’t forgotten. persistent and sticky magics. so this is my take on monasticism. like the skinny gay boy from the history boys. posner. and look at the state of him at the end. no thanks.



help me on this one. i’ve got the waves. good thing bad thing good thing bad thing the end. that would appear to be it. i have new things that calm me down these days. it’s the immensity of the known universe and of course the vast portion of reality that remains unknown to humans. you can’t sleep now so try it. there’s this analogy that really soothes me (see how i’m shattered into thought now). it goes like this. there is only a small fraction of the entire electromagnetic spectrum that can be perceived by the human eye. it’s called light. so say there’s another spectrum within which all other spectra and phenomena are contained and there is only a small part of it that can be perceived by human consciousness. this would be what we call reality or the physical universe. anyway it probably doesn’t take much discourse to knock that one down. but i think it’s pretty.

blind terror. by now merely an initial formality. duvets and wombs. take me back there. crawling skin that screams for you to fuck or sleep between your parents.

infinite death. of the self. no the planet now the universe. time. finished and over. swerving sharp from the biggest number back to the final zero. every flavour of fear.

my ribcage is full of moths.

fuck. this gets harder every time. i wish i had gotten up earlier today.

drink the water. wet. a concrete and easy sensation. no wonder people turn to drugs.

some people say that suicides happen in clusters and that deep sadness begets itself. i think it should be stopped. maybe i will absorb it or my share of it. i think that means staying alive. such a brave boy.

please please all i want is for them to know about me and how happy i am and how easy i am with my affections. please. i do not want to be the sad boy. please please. i do not want to be the sad boy any more.



in all my fantasies there is a camera or an eye. i am a triangle of eyes. a three-point stream of vision. you will not know me. i will not know myself. i am a dead river of unreal pictures rotting at the edge. i am three mirrors falling into zero. i am the seen.

is it possible to want to shag someone and also to laugh with them over toast while at the same time believing that western romantic love bears all the hallmarks of a cult and that desire is inextricably linked to melancholy and absence?

i would like to die at an intimate tropical breakfast.

i am in love. i am in love with breathing. i like breathing many different kinds of air such as the cold fresh variety that is found near the sea. best experienced in the morning or late evening. this is a great air to be surprised by. i do also like warm indoor air. especially on weekend afternoons when it has been suffused with coffee and lavender.

cock and balls. arse.

if heaven and hell were real they would be the sky and the sea. the sky is infinite light and air. seeing and breathing totally. the sea is of course dark and there is definitely no breathing. this is why i want to be buried at sky.

time be good (to me) (i’m scared).



edit me it hurts. i’m pointing everywhere at once.

and yet when we were on the beach it was cold and i liked it.

you did this to yourself but i suppose it was inevitable.

can anyone turn me off for a few minutes?

if i ever fall in love then who knows? what if it involves rocky outcrops and shared socks? god help us.


James Bennett was born in Wexford in 1992. His work has been published in Crannóg, Icarus, Belleville Park Pages and Berfrois. He lives in Barcelona and tweets @_j_ames.