part ii ... hoods by Bennie Herron

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


this place is a living body
where the pulse beat is human
prayers are coin tosses a gamble for your own good
a quick score a come up
this place has a metric sun bringing
order to chaos moon to mouth resuscitation
imagine this world slowed down
so you could see the clouds become rain
we come from a place where the world starts over
the dolls have straight hair braided in corn rows
mothers evolve in this space fathers invent new
wheels returning to the essence with swagger and fire

the churches are old the white tee shirt
is crisp and the hustle is american
what we covet connects us it shades us with liquor
store signs and cigarette ashes
the lyrics in this place rhyme they come from brevity
this place is infested with dice games
crying fiction over breaking dawns
the dusk has us by-standing beneath buildings
that bend our thinking
in this place anything is everything
last is a dance step
having is accomplishing
there’s a neo bop in the step of the people
they want what the sun owes them
now and for forever

this place writes poems it starts and finishes
riots it cries beads that dangle from new minds
this place is dogone mythology mud cloths and
incense smoke

this place is retroactive insistent volatile and
whole this place cuts then slices leaves backs
heavy embraces triumph it lets children dream
it is old and young pure to the taste of divinity
this place listens it hears what you are
it’s a mirror a window to the other side
a gateway passed through time and time again


Photo of Bennie Herron

Photo of Bennie Herron

Bennie Herron was born in San Diego, CA to a blue-collar family. He had a challenging but fulfilling childhood rooted in unconditional love. His childhood was full of stories that have been the undercurrent of his writing and social advocacy. This also laid the foundation for his interest in social work and academic prosperity. He always knew and believed that one way he could transcend negative circumstances was through education. This would also allow him to be a part of the solution regarding issues that plague his community and the world.

This led to his interest in psychology, which he majored at San Diego State University. After obtaining a Bachelors in Psychology, he later went on to obtain his masters in social work from San Diego State. Most recently, he received an MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in contemporary poetry from National University.

Bennie has performed in venues across the United States and Mexico. From the year 2000 through 2006 he was a member of the national recognized poetry collective, The Taco Shop Poets. His writing has appeared in numerous journals and periodicals such as, Kuumba Journal of Poetry and Prose (San Diego State University), Taco Shop Poets Anthology (Calaca Press San Diego), New Writers and Poets (National Journal of Literary Arts), No More Silent Cries Dealing With Domestic violence (Spoken Visions), Vulcan A Literary Disillusion (Journal), and most recently the African Voices Literary Journal (African Voices Communication New York, NY). In 2012 he was honored to publish his first full-length poetry collection, greens, withTintavox Independent Press, San Fransisco, CA.