A Poetic Response to ‘My Dad’s Deaths’ in the Style of Jon Bennet

By Aimee Smith


I think Jon Bennet might be a liar

No one dies more than once

Especially not someone’s Dad

Especially not someone’s very normal looking Dad

(Maybe it would be different if his Dad looked like a Mafia-Boss,

Or like Gandalf, but he doesn’t look like those things.

He looks like a pig farmer in an orange turtleneck. Which he is).

I think Jon Bennet is a liar from the very start

From the very start of his shows very title

I think Jon Bennet is a performer not to be trusted.


Jon Bennet had a hard time at school –

Maybe this is why he lies so much about his Dad dying.

Jon Bennet was teased because his name doesn’t have an ‘H’

And the kids told him he was too poor to afford an ‘H’

My name is ‘Aimee’ and my name has too many letters

I guess my parents could afford an ‘I’ and two ‘E’s’ –

But I am not the subject of this poem, Jon Bennet is.


Jon Bennet’s Dad wanted Jon Bennet to be a poet

Like the famous Australian poet Banjo Paterson

He can’t be that famous because I’ve never heard of him

But I guess the real test

Is whether or not Jon Bennet’s Dad has heard of James K. Baxter –

That would put the reach of our respective National Poets in perspective.


Jon Bennet is kind of a poet

And kind of a stand-up comedian

But mostly he is a story-teller

Which is a really useful job title because then you get to do things

Like read poems and tell jokes at the same time
And audiences really, really like it when you do both of these things at once.


I thought I could ask Jon Bennet’s Dad

Whether or not he had heard of James K. Baxter

Because Jon Bennet told us he was in the audience –

Jon Bennet lied.


Jon Bennet may be a liar

But he is a liar who speaks truths

A few truths, a few truths blanketed beneath an overarching lie

Like the fact that wearing a hat to keep out flies with corks on it is counter-productive

And that it sucks to shoot a pig

And that it’s unhealthy to hold in your swears

And that winning a talent quest to make your peers love you is a better idea in your head than in practise
And that everyone can afford to be a bit more careful when they’re climbing a ladder

And that your parents are people.


I listened to a Banjo Paterson poem

And I stopped because it was boring.

I didn’t leave a Jon Bennet show

Because it wasn’t boring.

Well done, Jon Bennet –

And also Jon Bennet’s Dad.


My Dad’s Deaths is part of the 2018 Nelson Fringe Festival. To check out other shows and workshops, click here.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Connecting to %s