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.