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2 poems, an mp3 &
an artist's statement

by Benjamin K Herrington

Editor's Note: The first poem "Eshu Bless You Now Shoo" appeared in The Prairie Review's last issue. It is very unusual for us to republish, but in this case we had a reason. Benjamin is a new creative writer. His artist statement at the end of this selection, will give you the ins & outs, but what is notable is how fast his learning curve is rising. The version of Eshu presented here is his most recent edit. He writes, edits, edits, edits, edits, edits, etc. It might be one reason why, so early in his writing career, he's getting acceptances along with the obligatory rejections. 

The Prairie Review feels very strongly about providing a supportive, innovative and practically helpful space for creatives in all stages of their career, but we particularly enjoy being of assistance to new writers. For all of you out there - write on, and know we revere your tenacity and creativity.

Eshu Bless You Now Shoo

i got flies stickin’ to me like honey


i got bitches buzzin’ round me like bees


fools think this be about money


motherfuckers step to me please


i’m half-livin’ half-dead like a zombie


i’m half-awake half-asleep like Frere Jacques


y’all tryin’ to solve me like a zen koan


but u can’t figure out my clock


i’m creepin’ through ur days like a nightmare


i’m bouncin’ back and forth on these blocks


got more data than ur motherfuckin’ cloud


u ain’t never catch me slippin’ in my socks


i’m not ur symbol clappin’ monkey


i’m not ur signifyin’ cock


fenna blast off into orbit soon


leave y’all dead on this rock

Clair de Lune

00:00 / 02:37

the Moon she never turns her face


she’s my dream & my nightmare

i wake up screamin’ & sweatin’ but still she ain’t fight fair

she’s half hidden half grinnin’ & she keepin’ me spinnin’

she’s scared of me son cause when alls said & done

she know i’m the one

i’m bringing the light, yo, i rise like the sun

i’m the brightest of stars illuminatin’ North South & West

but i don’t wanna fight cause it’s all such a mess


come on girl chill

it ain’t me makin’ u ill

i still got ur back why u actin’ so whack

this Kingdom is ours & our last final hours best spent fuckin’ not fightin’

damn, why u keep bitin’ my neck like a vampire

see i’m Trevor Belmont & the hearts i be stakin’ smoke up and sizzle like bacon

G-d’s good all the time i ain’t dig on no swine

Moon goddess so fine why u playin’ my mind

don’t u remember ur mine


please drop the façade & stop bein’ so odd

gimme the truth like a sayer of sooth

man, i’m so ruthless y’all fucked up thinkin’ i’m toofless

i’m sharp as Cerebro

hey babes why don’t we go

off and break bread

let these fools change they gold into lead

it sure getting old this plato y plumbo

yeah my ears big as Dumbo’s

i hear u agree, cool

if u laugh u like me

so jus’ please be my Queen

quit makin’ me scream invadin’ my dreams

leavin’ me cold all sweaty alone ‘cause

together we better &

i ain’t too clever by half i ain’t no calf for the slaughter

the future is now our love’s thicker than water

remember our mothers our fathers our sons & our daughters

if u winning the battle we losing the war

Princess je t’adore c’est moi ton amour and

now that i’m sure let’s give it a go

but not like before


let’s play nice let’s be friends thaw the ice make amends

watch Netflix n’ chillllllll….mmmhhmmm, yo

u still remember them times when i wooed u with rhymes

let the chips fall where they may i’m callin’ ur bluff

it’s enough funny stuff jus’ please hit me up

why u actin’ so tough

u killin’ the kid like Nancy did Syd


i’m here i’m rock steady so let me know when u ready

we’ll get in the Chevy we’ll make waves and make eddies

that ripple the stars that be star-crossed like ours &

i’m ‘bout all out of bars, but

i know that u hear me u ain’t gotta fear me

remind me again just where we begin &

i’ll c u at night when i turn out the light


The Moon she never turns her face


c’est comme elle veut

i’m saving her place &

je veux gouter sa douce crème brûlee

je ne la quitte pas parce que c’est moi qu’elle préferé

n’oublies pas qu’on se connait

ce n’est pas folie

la Lune me choisit

‘cause just like the Sun je suis toujours ici

all we got’s aujourd’hui

ce n’est pas la fin je n’ai pas fini

j’espere te voir bientot ma cherie

ne me dis pas non dis moi juste oui

la pluie que tu as toujours préferé

but Moon

pourquoi tu n’as jamais pleuré

4 me

Artist's Statement

Benjamin K. Herrington wears many masks and speaks in many voices. After his sporadic legal career at several BigLaw firms and international financial institutions sputtered to a stop, some truth finally hit him between the eyes, the bottom of his bucket dropped out, and he found himself incarcerated in a rural midwestern jail. While doing time, he started writing stories, poetry and songs. In doing so, he found himself, again, or maybe became reacquainted with several of his selves, again, as the case may be.


He is incredibly grateful that several of his nascent efforts in prose & poetry have been published by The Prairie Review, as well as by Red Noise Collective, and that one of his short stories was recently selected for publication in an upcoming issue of B O D Y Literature. He is presently working on a novel (an autobiographical fiction roman à clef thing), writing poems, training for a(nother) marathon, and seeking gnosis.


He would like to share, not at all briefly, a few too many words on learning the ropes of writing poetry and prose, and what he thinks about the processes of creative writing:


“Maybe it’s best to describe my process by way of story.


There’s a wonderful zen story about three young monks riding bicycles. The monks come pedaling back to the monastery and find their teacher waiting for them in the monastery’s yard. As they dismount and approach him, the teacher greets the three monks with a question:


‘Please tell me, why is it that you ride your bicycles?’


The first monk answers: ‘I ride my bicycle because it allows me to go from the monastery to town and back more quickly.’


The teacher nods.


The second monk replies: ‘I ride my bicycle so that I may feel the wind in my face and race along the road’


The teacher smiles.


The third monk responds: ‘I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.’


The teacher speaks: ‘Today you are my teacher.’


When I am able to divorce myself from worrying about the world, not fearing whether what I am writing will be liked (or disliked), neither distracted by who may one day publish me (or not), nor thinking of to what worldly rewards my writing may bring (or not), I am writing to write. Riding to ride. Missing this simple concept for so very long was why I was so very miserable drafting complex transactional legal documents over and over and over. I was becoming a tool, a cog, a gear in a machine, a means to an end, an end which I could not see as beneficial to anyone actually, and the workings of this system struck me as needless complex, inefficient, suboptimal, inhumane and even cruel, in so very very many ways, from bottom to top.

When I write to write, like when I run to run, or ride to ride, when I try not to try, I find myself opening up to everything around me, sounds, smells, ideas, memories, voices, emotions, spirits, muses, nature, animals, perceptions, perspectives, and so forth and so on, and yet I am able to retain just enough of me to somehow record, and then later play back, and finally translate these experiences into words for you to maybe one day read or hear read aloud.

Another analogy: If I am able to construct a bridge, a simple machine, a bridge made of words, one that any person able to read or hear may use to traverse the distance between them and I, or from you to me, then the building of the bridge becomes, for me, the riding of the bicycle as for the third monk. By no means do I take credit for the raw materials, the mud, the bricks, the words, the river, the shores, the travelers, the readers, the listeners, the sky overhead, etc. Often times, I can, in good faith, take very little credit for the superficial design of whatever bridge I am in the process of building or have built.

All of these raw materials come from outside of me, from muses (both divine and definitely not), mentors, editors, friends, family, books, anime, movies, memories, music, and so forth. Without them, I could build no bridges. Moreover, without having travelled over countless bridges previously constructed by others, without having first learned to feel, to think, to talk, to read, to walk, and without the fundamental blueprint for bridges, for metaphor, both blueprints I feel may very well be a part of the human mind/soul/brain/collective unconscious, I would be eternally stuck on one shore, or existing as an island onto myself (that’s a terrifying thought), waving forlornly at persons on the other shore, or shouting at passing boats, or perhaps scrawling gigantic “SOS”’s into the sand for overflying aeroplanes.

If one is conscious, self-aware, and present, in the best sorts of way, however, the process of building bridges is as easy as remembering how to ride a bike. You’ll note that I did not say learning how to ride a bike was easy. Assuredly, it is anything but, I lost my two front teeth in front of my paternal grandparents falling off my first bicycle the first day the training wheels came off. However, after a few falls, a few scrapes, bumps, bruises, and hopefully nothing more serious, one almost never forgets how to ride a bike. I, admittedly, embarrassingly, almost forgot how to ride. I’m a bit special and stubborn like that. Forgive me.

Nonetheless, I am so very very grateful that, in a manner akin to my grandparents that summer day many many years ago, all of you are around to help me up, dust me off, give me a hug, look for my teeth…and to keep riding, together with me, across all of these bridges, past, present and future. Enjoy the ride, I most certainly do.”

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