Julie Benesh

Julie Benesh is author of the chapbook ABOUT TIME from Cathexis Northwest Press. She has published work in Tin House, Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Another Chicago Magazine, JMWW, Maudlin House, New World Writing, Cleaver, Sky Island Journal, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of Warren Wilson College's MFA Program and recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant. Her debut full-length poetry collection is forthcoming in 2024 from Saddle Road Press.

“Plus Ca Change,” “Telling” and “About Last Night”

That swagger-daddy  On the Red Line el
asks the auntie  if she’s Spanish
she’s Italian  he requests a sex act:
poor lady won’t muster  insult or outrage
and we roll our eyes  on her behalf. Read more.

Issue 76

“Linn Junction,” “Midwestern Blues,” and “Dear Capitalism”

My father built the cabin by the river
himself, and built me a treehouse
on the riverbank and two kinds of swings:
one with a tire you sit on and one to hang
on upright. We found a wounded duckling
near the pond, and nursed it back to health. Read more.

Issue 73

“wakeup,” “Popular,” and “Landlocked Lament”

with a hodgepodge pile of stuff
to make a bouillabaisse or salad of leaves

build a mansion or lean-to shack
protect from elements and enemies

fashion a tiara or a sassy sash
so as not to scare the children Read more.

Issue 70

“Self Portrait as Poet,” “Work Friends,” and “Now Playing”

Poet, you mama’s girl, so bad at volleyball, first dates, job interviews, your albatross of asymmetry flung floorward like an eloquent glove, ironic as that yellow pedestrian yield sign on Chestnut Street, permanently pavement-flattened. Read more.

Issue 67

“On the Way to Conception” and “Different Folks”

My parents loved each other but it’s unlikely no one was harmed
on the long, broad path to my conception, and as for fidelity,
my mitochondrial DNA is British all the way to the damsel
du chambre of Queen Philippa, born in Tonbridge Castle,
mother unknown, fathered by Edward’s ambidextrous favorite. Read more.

Issue 64

“Chicago (After Ginsberg),” “When You Spot Your Flower” and “The Spring-Bringer”

Chicago I fell in love with you at first sight in May 1975.
I wore that green dress and you wore the Lake.
You were the Big Man in the Midwest.
I was 15, you were 138.
I gave you the best years of my life when I thought you had given them to me. Read more.

Issue 60

“It’s October,” “Professin’” and “Fitting In”

and, just back from the Farmer’s Market, the last of the year, I’m wearing a summer sweatshirt the amber and aubergine of falling leaves. The cats mill expectantly, for what I know not. Read more.

Issue 56

The Rules of Improv

Lainie emerged from her shock, lying on her side in the driveway surrounded by a black wreath of cleft-chinned superheroes in boots and helmets. She noted the gravel in her hair before wincing at the tenderness of two small broken bones in her left hand, various bruised ribs, and shrapnel-inflicted gash above her ankle.
It was a mistake any mortal could make, exploding her gas grill by forgetting to open the lid before turning on the gas. Read more.

Short Story
Issue 43