There is a chair

by Jim Benz

There is a luxury chair in this poem,
an Eaves lounge chair with matching ottoman,
upholstered in soft black leather
over a seven-ply cherry shell
and die-cast aluminum supports. No trees
were felled and no ore mined
to construct this chair and no hide
was ever stripped from a dead cow
to be fitted and sewn around
the individually upholstered cushions.
It will never be sat in.

The chair is located in a sun-lit
oak-paneled room, on a Persian rug
of modern design by Qolam Hossein
Jabini Khiabani of Tabriz. An aging feline,
who now steps gingerly across the deep red weaves
of the natural pattern, will never piss on this rug
even though she has just now entered the poem.
In this illusory context, she will live forever
and never become incontinent or arthritic
nor will the heart-broken author have to bury her
by a large aspen tree growing on a hill
thick with birch, beside a rustic log cabin
built from unfelled trees. When she eats a young rabbit,
the rabbit will not cry and there will be no blood
staining the intricate silk inlay of the rug.

About to sit in the leather chair,
and rest a back that never aches,
is the author of this poem
who contemplates a meaningless violation
of previously stated poetic assertions
alluding to the imaginary properties
of said chair. The poem, however, does not
end when he sinks into the plush leather
of its cushions, because the particulars of this existence
reside within the poem itself and have nothing
to do with the imagined properties
of a luxury chair or an indulgent man.
Even so, the poem ends quite suddenly.


Author's Note: Published in Ygdrasil and Listen and Be Heard

Posted on 09/09/2005
Copyright © 2023 Jim Benz

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Michelle Angelini on 09/28/05 at 06:52 PM

Quite an environmentally friendly and tearless journey. Stanza 2 touched my heart, but the whole poem is a sensory experience.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 04/18/06 at 03:37 PM

I am surprised to find myself in tears over this...I went back to read whatever it is that brought me to tears...somewhere...maybe in the scent of the middle of the 2nd verse...

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 03/15/17 at 08:55 PM

Quite an astounding read, Jim. This takes poetic narration to other levels.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 09/30/17 at 10:55 AM

I came back to this poem and find so much more in it than the first time I read it. It is so Keatsean in character and mood. Reminds me of his Ode On Grecian Ode.

Posted by Paganini Jones on 10/13/17 at 09:50 PM

I have only just come across this masterpiece. Somehow it reminds me of Carlos Williams. So much said in a poem in which nothing seems to happen. This is my new favourite here

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