Looking back at my ‘career’ as a poet I see that I was trying stuff wayyyy difficult even at the start of it. In my debute I wrote a serie about the numbers from 0 to 12 called ‘Stigma’ based solely on the philosophy their shape evokes. That was a pain in the ass concept, and maybe it was the least succesful part of the book, even though Leo Vroman cited ’11’ as his favorite poem and some other poets really loved ‘0’. These are 6 , 7, 8, 9, 10:


The stately avenue of the alphabet has six vowels.
Houses are right-side up on it.
Angels there cannot count
on the calligraphy of a smile
of an encumbered man.

In the dead straight love
for measurability, six is precisely
the impudent happiness of your absence.



The erratic hitchhiker
along the summed-up road.
He is the last drifter, false
beginning of the rooted draw
of the eye, at the end of
his long neck: birds.



of the unholy.

He yawns on the paper
as we draw him, feints
torment the monotonous needle
of our memory.

Ungainly slalom
between black dens,
swinging on the cross
of the pre-bowed.



All day in pyjamas gently shaking no
with its water head. Whoever calculates
him first never dies. Stripped
of the bobbing of his dreams
his eyes will peak too soon.

We who live on cosmic waste,
(Number comets! Waste peaks…)
will slowly wear out, until
we also bob as planets
on a thin string of dreams.



Ten is the sum patron.
spinning like all worlds: at the feet
of schoolish perfection.

Ten is who is not gone
is seen: God, mother
of all advertising space.


Martijn Benders – All poems are from ‘Karavanserai’ and will soon be available
as part of the collection ‘Tract of the Sun’.

It’s clear why the so-called ‘religious’ Jesus friends would dislike me: calling God the mother of all advertising space is not something they would consider poetry. In the Netherlands christianity has seen a sharp decline everywhere except…in literature. There it seems quite the opposite of society: a huge portion is christian, certainly a huge portion of price-winners and the christian universities that flaunt them make me nauseus since I do not believe science should have a religious base at all. And neither should literature. To people calling this a ‘provocation’, no man it is not, I did not ask for ayatollahs ruling over poetry, did I? I want to be able to write down my thoughts without the idea that I cant upset some guys dressing up in fake dreams of power.

By their shhhroom shall ye know them

M.H.H. Benders is a most recognised poet of his generation, a student of the universal mycelia,  Amanita Sage and mycotherapist. He wrote seventeen books, the last ones at the Kaneelfabriek.

He is currently working on the second volume of the SHHHHHHROOM series of books about mushrooms and the Microdose Bible, which is an activation plan to restore your true identity coming next year. Keep in touch!

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