Benjamin James Bussewitz grew up in Pittsford, NY, spending much of his time playing music and soccer. Upon completion of high school, he went to the northwest of Haiti for a summer to contribute to humanitarian relief. He then attended Allegheny College, in Meadville, PA, for three years, where he studied Literature, Philosophy, Religion, and neuroscience. Shortly before finishing his BA, in 2011, he traveled through Greece. During that time, he lived alongside the last remaining person on the Mediterranean who garners his entire monetary income through spearfishing and he documented the methods of protest and resistance the Greek Indignant Movement utilized in response to the austerity measures being pushed forth by the troika and a corrupt Greek government. He now lives in Rochester, NY where he is in the process of formulating a foundationalistic metaphysical theory, contributing to progressive community engagement with Spiritus Christi Church, and taking classes toward the completion of his college degree.
As we sail on a tender breeze of the Sea of Krete
I stroke her hair and the gulls flap mazes of ripples
– Stumbling upon you was like finding Sphinx eyes in hay
– The manner in which you enchanted me glowed a mirror on my soul
We’ll drown down raki, chew sunflower seeds, and listen to Nikos’
Loud opinions in the only village bar of Frangokastelo, just miles from Gavdos
After we stroll through the National Garden and the quays of Port of Piraeus,
You in your nicest dress; we’ll land a ferry in Heraklion, tour the Palace
Of Knossos, follow timetables to Rethymnon, pitch bivouac in the ancient ruins
Of Fortezza, swill the central farmer’s market, bustling crowds, lighthouse, and abodes
Of Chania, hold each other’s hands on an effusive traversal of the Samarian Gorge,
Drink water of ecstasy in Sfakia, make love on the beach, jubilate in Agia Roumeli,
Vacation a fortnight on the hidden littoral cascade-sedimentary, ascend Nikos’ ship,
Sip Tsoumpraina Mavri; I will sing you love poetry on a hammock softly swaying,
We will lead goats across the sand-pebble terrain to where the waves fling and swing,
Wash them as Nikos inspires his Weimaraner with most loving company,
Live with Nikos for as long as we desire, a new Ithaka.
Anything you wish will be yours.
I left you without knowing
who you are, and I return
equally clueless, still contemplating
in that old Socratic way
the pattern that never
exactly repeats, still doubting
the stones, the mountains,
upon which your ancient ceremony
rests. And I’m still finding
used up gods suffocated
in the ruins. I remember
sitting on a bench
in Syntagma Square, waiting
for fountains to burst out of nothing.
I was thinking of you then
and a random stranger
told me that the Prodigal Son
will soon be a father.
I don’t know how.
June 29, 2011, Athens, Greece
Thanksgiving grace, my old man said he was sorry
that the good dog died, the mutual understandings
of insulated radio drones, the whir of electric
confusion, men beating their hammers outside.
Handsome old men without stretchers, with vineyards
and artichoke hearts, on this island,
leaving church for the sun, insisting
that the mountains dance on dinner plates.
May 2011, Kythira, Greece
All poems on this post: © Benjamin James Bussewitz
Published with the permission of Benjamin James Bussewitz