Posted in Ben John Smith, Book Review, John D. Robinson, Poem, Poetry

Book Review: Damned, Dirty And Dangerous by Ben John Smith & John D. Robinson

I couldn’t ask for much more out of a chapbook when it features both Ben John Smith and John D. Robinson. These blokes can write! They’ve also been fiercely devoted to the small press scene for years now, publishing a multitude of aspiring poets. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to review their chapbook.

Ben’s poetry has a tendency to transplant the reader into his living room. The man is a damn good host! This epic piece of poetry conveys to me an existential threat. Ben’s older now, living a conventional family life. He speaks of reaching a Rubicon when it comes to marital discord: “I can’t argue any more, so I just get passive aggressive. I used all my good words as a young buck.” Do what you must, Ben. You’ve been with the same woman for years, I commend your efforts! Keep it up and your name will be synonymous with loyalty, devotion, longevity and most significantly love! 

His son has also altered his perception: “My son destroys Origami in quarter of the time it takes me to create it and that to me says something about God.” After the birth of my second son, I actually felt reacquainted with the big man upstairs, but everyone is different. In my opinion, God is poetry.

Ben’s porn addiction is evolving: “I bought a virtual reality headbset and of course the first thing I did was download VR porn. You are never more vulnerable than the moment you’re walking around your living room drunk with headphones on screaming, ‘Look at the size of my virtual dick!” Fucking priceless! You can always expect mercy from Ben, after he beats you down with a few dismal stanzas. 

If you look hard enough you’ll find Jainism inked on these pages. Jainism is an enlightenment that manifests with procreation. Or at least it did for me. 

After reading two books by John D. Robinson, I’d say if I was kindred spirits with any poet it would be him. The man writes about hedonism, love, loss and the poetry scene. All themes I’ve covered extensively. 

In the poem, “I Wasn’t There” John writes: “I got word you were found dead of a smack o/d in a London alleyway and I found the note you left 2 days previous, but I was on a drunk and wasn’t thinking of you, though it is true, that I loved you like a brother, I wasn’t there.” The heroin poems are becoming as prevalent as the heroin epidemic that plagues the white community. Almost all of us have lost someone to this pernicious drug, yet people continue to consume it like they’re immortal.

How many poems is gonna take to raise awareness? Why are the words of Nancy Reagan being discarded? Something gotta give. 

“Take It From Me” resonates with my standard: “Take it from me, drugs and wine and sex are and should be the fuel of the muse, but they can also be the jailer.” Truth seekers take heed! I conceived an entire chapbook under the assistance of a mind altering transcendence. Once I ran out though, the agony prevailed curtailing my writing. Since then I’ve learned, hedonism in moderation is the only way to fly. And if you’re going to put drugs into your body, get the approval of the FDA. Smack is a death defying gamble. Don’t be another statistic.

I’ve always had an affinity for poems about poetry, or poems about the scene. “This Poetry Business” is relevant in all the small hearts of the small press poets. 

From where it came from

I don’t know and I 

don’t fucking care, 

I know it makes me 

feel alive, 

publication came later 

on in life, 

how this happened

I don’t know and I 

don’t fucking care

but I know it makes 

me feel alive 

and this

codeine swallowing

wine drinking

hash smoking

son of a bitch 

is thankful.

© John D. Robinson

This limited edition small press release is available through John D. Robinson. He can be reached here:


Michael Marrotti is an author from Pittsburgh with a chemical imbalance and lack of patience. His writing has propagated the small press like chlamydia in Beechview. He's been faithfully volunteering at the Light Of Life Rescue Mission for the past three years now, the man believes in action.  His chapbook, FDA Approved Poetry is available on Amazon. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s