hey little girl

last night i had a dream that i ordered rose ice cream. it was the most wonderful thing i had ever tasted, and i ate it on a school bus.

tomorrow i will write a story about two men who killed bats.

i am a graduate student, pursuing graduate studies. isn't that weird?



hey kitten in space is going to be in triplequick fiction, an awesome project by the folks at featherproof! thanks zach!

maybe i'll write more stories when i'm off. justin is so good at writing stories and plots and all that. and adam is so good at acoustic guitar! you probably already know that.


"Funny," he said, looking toward the corner of the deck.

I had been putting Band-Aids on for no reason. I can't remember now. Something about people thinking I was injured, or just liking the feel of it and the perfect pulling-apart of the paper wrapper.

We used to bend paperclips around our front teeth and take turns sitting in the doll stroller, being the twin from school with cerebral palsy. We made fun of my brother wanting to be called by a girl's name. I touched the white of my eye with a pine needle.

"I used to chase you guys around all the time," he said.

"I thought you were angry with me," I said.



hey i wrote a story! i think we should call it, KITTEN IN SPACE. this is my first official story.

I had hoped I would never live to see the day. There is that feeling of familiarity. I remember my mother. She is in the new addition they put on the house, sitting in a wicker chair. The wicker is the color of my desk. There is a cushion on the wicker chair with flowers on it. Some kind of rose pattern, or dahlias. She is holding a kitten in the palm of one hand, with the other hand cupped to give it shelter during this time when it is more fetal than alive; more chick than kitten.

“He makes the c-shape, too,” she says.

“He makes a comma,” I imagine her to say.

I tried to hold a kitten up here once. It made me feel braver on the trip up, to have a living thing—something to watch over, even though it didn’t need me when it slept, which was most of the ride. It died within a couple of hours, but not from the pressure or oxygen as one would figure. I think the formula was too thick. It took those breaths she always called “angular” instead of “agonal,” and the kitten’s head on its crunchy little stalk lolled away from my neck.

I used to climb right from some surface dream back into my head, and wish that the downstairs noises were those of my mother—absently wiping the kitchen counter with a graying dishrag—not the dogs being fed in our rental apartment, our adulthood. The thought of her on summer vacation, making coffee and reading books by the great naturalists, would make me sick with despair.

Up here you can’t hear anything, of course. You wouldn’t believe how little surprise there is, and that’s the gore. It’s everything you’ve ever imagined it to be. It’s velvet, unraveling edgeless; to some, surely wondrous.



deet deet deet pcchhh dyoo deet deet deet

"I no come to hear about how horse dead an' cow fat"

jay has been listening to burning spear. research:

AGONY: the sensations felt during sex

BAFANG: a child who did not learn to walk the 1st 2-7 years.

BALD-HEAD: a straight person; one without dreadlocks; one who works for Babylon

BEENIE: little

BOASIN TONE: Swollen penis or testicles

(TO GET) BUN: to have one's spouse or girl/boy-friend cheat on oneself, to be cheated out of something

BLOOD CLOT: curse word

CEASE & SEKKLE!: stop everything and relax!

CLOT: 1. cloth, an essential part of most Jamaican bad words, such as bumbo clot, rass clot, blood clot, etc. The essence of Jamaican cursing seems to be nastiness, rather than the blashemy or sexuality which is characteristic of the metropolitan countries; to hit or strike - from the verb "to clout"; literally means a used tampon

EVERYTING COOK & CURRY: all is well, all is taken care of

GAAN TO BED: an adverbial phrase; following a verb of liking or loving, it has a superlative meaning; Can be used in any context, such as "I love hafu yam gaan to bed!".

KISS ME NECK!: common exclamation of surprise.

PUM-PUM: a woman's genitals

SCIENTIST: occult practitioner

TOAST : (v.) - to rap or sing spontaneously over a dub track


BOONOONOONOUS: Meaning wonderful.


"You KYAANT hav da CYAAN beef."


that they have in common

off, and jogging

well we read in atlantic city. did you know that monopoly was modeled after atlantic city? it smells like fish, AC. there is a huge feral cat colony and a handicapped hotel bathroom there.

on the way up in the car i wrote some monopoly poems. here they are:

Free Parking

Driving around to find a meter with money on it. Forced up and at 'em. A sheet on the middle seat. You had to be in control of the soda so that sand would get in it. Sand got between our teeth or at least that's how I remember it.

The Boot

Its elvin curve and relief.
It's benign, yet unapologetic, scampering singularly through your
housing developments and eminent domains.
Money is no object to the demure boot.
They use the rubber band from broccoli.
The boot wants out; doesn't want tactics;
wants a stump and a toadstool.

B&O Railroad

The guard walks over and squats onto one knee.
Guard: "I don't know what you think you're doing."
A kid climbs into a chained-off train car.
The roundhouse sounds like most museums.


That they are constructed from wood.
That time has not plasticized as in the negative spaces and that spinny thing.
Kit-like, and kitchy when compartmentalized.
In the case of brass tokens, we hope you can make good choices.

Go to Jail

Stop this silliness.
Here, have a flat Coke.

The Scottie Dog

Why do they always look at the anus like that?

Oriental Ave.

Bill thought he was being politically correct. Cass was tired of it, this recollection with no regard for the way the last 50 years had actually happened, or altered the day's events. Her arthritic fingertips on the tabletop. The clicking ceiling fan. He grinned, Wrigley's gum clenched between his molars, mentioned his mother's ketchup sandwiches.

Electric Company

If one "Utility" is owned, rent is 4 times amount shown on dice.
If both "Utilities" are owned, we may be talking about the Constellation Energy Group. Good luck, chump, and budget billing. Rent from your sister. She feeds your cats. Do the stairs once a week.


Take a ride on the Reading.
Advance to St. Charles Place.
Your money matures.

Every morning you emerge from the comforter fetal and swollen. If you knew the pride I take in shepherding you into the world, as if otherwise you would remain perpetually in utero; calcify; wind up on the Discovery Channel having been happened upon by a witch doctor in some remote Casablancan village; or just keep sleeping. I get bored and stare.

The Iron

Timing of Buying and Trading

You can build or trade at any time, but etiquette suggests that such transactions occur only between the turns of other players.

If you see an opponent land on another player's property and the owner doesn't notice, it is in your best interest to say nothing.

Other people playing the same game as you. The person you love most in the world. People you give money to when they need it, little boot, otter, dear one. People who pay you.

Maarvin Gaardens

The Color

As with the cadmium discrepancy, the 20-dollar-bill's matte finish differs from the board background. Mint and freshly minted. My laundry dampens barking dogs.


I just wanted to go around a couple of times.
It's not the masculinity, but an inability to attend--
to strategy; tactics; long-term planning.
Also the potential to build on the reds and gentrify
until the color is not quite the right kind.

Saaint Jaames Plaace

Rich Uncle Pennybags

On the way from Bar Harbor to Halifax, my Dad disappeared into the ferry while we watched The Lion King even though we were too old. Another time he became a day trader, then a stamp collector, then a master gardener. Now he's putting in a pond. When he emerged, his eyes were all red.

Community Chest

I'd lay on 'em too, if I could.


Cerulean and shine interior, if that's not too painterly. Holders in shapes. Sky-like in the money; sky in Maryland over corn but not in Wyoming; not that green-y like in Utah. Foil exterior. This spaceship of a board game will teach you all you need to know about the economy and your family. Flat navy embossed lightly on paperboard betrays its making, and then on the boardwalk, back to true blue basics; welcome home. Vermont mist, Connecticut mist, Oriental missed the mark on the Deluxe Edition; it leans more toward purple when what I had in mind were rugs or even people.

Baltic Ave.

You were always my favorite.
The plum.
The sound.

Ventnor Ave.

Its proximity to other homonyms and lemon innards
The proximity of die-cast to the real deal,
as in what my bladder has in common with the thimble

I heard there are pools in every hotel.

The Way it Folds

Like a map; like something untethered; like the trick of leaves turning over in the weather. I hear the casino workers are on strike. I hear the firefighters did a bad thing. Cheat the fold; cut the teeth and fold the hand.


Collect your salary. Direct deposit. A gift card to Target.
A kid's mom gives you a crystal candy dish. Etiquette demands that you write a thank-you note. Then the kid brings you Munchkins, then another thank-you note, margarita mix, thank you, all the fixins for an Italian dinner, thank you, thank you, a plant for Easter. Thank you. You watch the kid get fatter and fatter, watch her stutter not get any better. She is your favorite one.

The Money

You never use it all anyway.
This will be okay.


got a minute, toad?

Last night we watched Gran Torino. It was probably the best Clint Eastwood movie I've seen. "Gran Torino" means "the great Turin" in both Spanish and Italian, according to babelfish, but because of Turin I'm assuming Ford meant it in Italian. Which is funny given the extremopatriot leanings of ol' Clinty in the movie (I won't call it a film)--you'd think he wouldn't even buy something with a foreign name. I laughed inappropriately a couple of times which signifies greatness (on the part of the movie and me).

Over the break we also watched a lot of Deadwood with JS, The Last Picture Show, Wild Strawberries, Gran Torino, some of the World's Strongest Man Competition (sawing), a considerable amount of Golden Girls, and Jay became obsessed with a capitalist blonde theologian on Book TV. Otherwise we just ailed.

This blog is becoming exactly what I don't want it to be, but patience, and I will return. Besides, are you there? One of you is in Austin and there are DC possibilities.


this is hard!

Justin sent me a photo from I guess the airport in Austin. He says they serve Bugles (TM) in the severe weather shelter area. What does he mean by "serve"?

I asked if there are Flavor Blasted Goldfish (TM), but I also happen to know that Justin prefers anything in an "-ito" from convenience stores.

Basically until I remember how to blog I'm just going to write about Justin. So what else. Well you should definitely buy this. Although you are the yous who probably already know about it.

MLKNG SCKLS is arresting, and epic, and vignettes. It is like its cover in that way--a suggestion and also everything there is to know. So there.

Oh and Jay went to the dentist for a dry socket, and they packed the hole where his tooth used to be with a very technologically advanced clove in cheesecloth. Just remember, gaping hole = cloves. Wounds = Christmas ham.

remembering ric royer



hey justin

look at this!

sorry ryan manning

but i'm not accepting your comment on my CV post, because i want that post to look p=r=o=f=e=s=s=i=o=n=a=l. so i'll put it here:

ryan manning has left a new comment on your post "cv":

A résumé is a document that contains a summary or listing of relevant job experience and education.

i would probably post a comment as a reply to your comment if i had posted your comment on the CV post. probably something about how CV means (loosely) "course of life," and how, maybe, on good days, i consider my art experience to be my "course of life." on most days, especially recently, i am afraid to leave the house and so would just call it a resume.

but i usually do write more on those days, the shut-in ones. what's it all mean??


Curriculum Vitae
L a u r e n C. B e n d e r

E d u c a t i o n :

Towson University 1998 - 2003
Towson, MD
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Visual Communications
Honors Thesis in Painting
Graduated Summa Cum Laude

The Johns Hopkins University 2009 - present
Baltimore, MD
Degree: Masters of Education, Special Education, Severe Disabilities
Graduate Certificate in Autism

E m p l o y m e n t :

The Kennedy Krieger Institute January 2008 - present
Baltimore, MD
January, 2008 – present
Title: Special Education Teacher

S e l e c t e d E x h i b i t i o n s / P e r f o r m a n c e s :

14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, MD: Ear Lappers (reading as part of the Transmodern Festival)
1818 E. Lafayette, Baltimore, MD: Say it With Writing (reading)

Big Bear Cafe, Washington DC: reading
Minas Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Show&Tell (performance series): Curator

2010Everyday Genius (online blog): guest curator
Zodiac, Baltimore, MD: WORMS (reading)

LOF/T, Baltimore, MD: Los Solos Series (performance of CorpOreo Part 1 & 2)
60 Writers/60 Places, film by Michael Kimball & Luca Dipierro (reading)Center Stage, Baltimore, MD: STOOP Storytelling Series
Fleckenstein Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Everybody Draws (exhibition)
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD: Big Pink (performance with William Bender, as part of To Build A House You Start With The Roof: A Franz West Retrospective)
LOF/t at Load of Fun, Baltimore, MD: not BLUNDER but (performance/video) and WILL: A Retrospective (performance/video)

Billy Fischer Memorial Building, Washington, DC: CorpOreo (performance/video as part of Girlish Ways)
The DC Arts Center, Washington, DC: CorpOreo (performance/video as part of the In Your Ear reading series)
Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD: Out of Order (exhibition)
Load of Fun Studios, Baltimore, MD: CorpOreo (performance/video) and Crystallomancy: Book of Twins
(performance with Leigh Bender, as part of the 5th Annual Transmodern Festival)
Carriage House, Baltimore, MD (reading, as part of the i.e. reading series)
Creative Alliance at the Patterson, Baltimore, MD: Why is there an “Ohh” in Poem?
Various outdoor sites, Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Is Reads (installation, by Publishing Genius Press)

Theater Project, Baltimore, MD: The Hystery of Heat (performance, with members of the Performance Thanatology Research Society)
Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, MD: The Beaux Arts Fair (exhibition)
Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College, Baltimore, MD: Collaborate Now! (exhibition)
1818 Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Whale Box (reading/performance)
Minas Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Canyon Suite (reading/performance)
The 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, MD: FRUMMSBO! (reading/performance, as part of the Yockadot! Poetics Theater Festival)
Current Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Reenactments (exhibition)
Various outdoor sites, Baltimore, MD: Dead/Dying (performance)
Flashpoint Gallery, Washington, DC: Anonymous (exhibition)
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD: Human Pyramid (performance, with the Lexie Mountain Boys)
The Red Room, Baltimore, MD: Big Pants (performance)
Pyramid Atlantic, Washington, DC (reading/performance, as part of the In Your Ear reading series)
Dionysus, Baltimore, MD: Whale Box (reading/performance, as part of the i.e. reading series)

Load of Fun Studios, Baltimore, MD: SPHEAR (performance, as part of Macabaret)
Warehouse Arts Complex, Washington, DC: Exchange (exhibition/performance)
Subbasement Artist’s Studios, Baltimore, MD: Arbitrary Specifics (exhibition)
Wyman Park, Baltimore, MD: Event Staff (performance, as part of the Transmodern Festival)
Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, Baltimore, MD: The Beaux Arts Fair (exhibition)
SoWeBo Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Nostalgia for Almost (exhibition)
Big Orbit Gallery, Buffalo, NY (reading, as part of the Just Buffalo Literary Series)
The 14 Karat Cabaret, Baltimore, MD (reading/performance, as part of the Shattered Wig Review)
The Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, MD: Ground Songing (performance with members of the Performance Thanatology Research Society, as part of ArtScape)
Hysteric-Ontological Theater, New York, NY: The Hystery of Heat and The Mountain and the Universe (performance with members of the Performance Thanatology Research Society)
Center Stage, Baltimore, MD: LACK (performance, as part of These Are Your Instructions)

Clayton & Co. Fine Books, Baltimore, MD (reading/performance, as part of the i.e. reading series)
The Bowery Poetry Club, New York, NY (reading)
Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Baltimore, MD: Picture Window (exhibition)
Current Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Group Show (exhibition)
Scion Lounge, Washington, DC: Burlesque Poetry Hour (reading/performance)

CHELA Gallery, Baltimore, MD: Temporary Human Language (performance)
Spare Room, Baltimore, MD: Matchbox (exhibition)
Seed/Vector, Baltimore, MD: Systems, Codes, Chaos (exhibition)
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD: Cram Sessions (exhibition)
Mt. Vernon Square, Baltimore, MD: Artist’s Book Tent (exhibition as part of ArtScape)
The Talking Head Club, Baltimore, MD (reading/performance as part of the Mobtown Writers Collective)
ACA Galleries, New York, NY: Celebrating the Renegade Press (reading as part of the Boog City series)

CHELA Gallery, Baltimore, MD: The Poetry Wholesaler’s Clearance Event (exhibition)
Blue Elephant Gallery, Frederick, MD: Group Show (exhibition)
Fleckenstein Gallery, Towson, MD: Works On Paper (exhibition)
The Talking Head Club, Baltimore, MD (reading/performance as part of the Mobtown Writers Collective)
Towson Commons Gallery, Towson, MD: AVIARY: Honors Thesis Exhibition (exhibition)

P r o f e s s i o n a l E x p e r i e n c e :
Board of Directors, Narrow House
2004 – ongoing

Guest Editor, Everyday Genius
January 2010

Editor, SUCCESS!

Curator, Yockadot! Poetics Theater Festival
Baltimore, MD, Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC

Studio Assistant, S. Denise Tassin
2005 – 2008

Contributing Editor, Radar Review (a critical journal on the arts in Baltimore), 2001 – 2006

Feminine Arbiter of Phrases, Performance Thanatology Research Society, 2004 – ongoing.

Installation Experience:

The Beaux Arts Fair, Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, 2006, Maryland Historical Society, 2007
Their Eyes Are Watching You: Artwork Inspired by Surveillance, Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College, 2006
Almost Solo, Too Few, Important Things, Make Believe and Pocket Productions, Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 2007

S e l e c t e d B i b l i o g r a p h y :

Interview by thunk/Ryan Manning bender

Review, The Dictionary Poems by Lauren Bender, New Lights (2004)

Interview by Publishing Genius Press

Kevin Thurston. “From the Visual to the Verbal.” Artvoice [Buffalo] 24 March 2006, v5n12.

P u b l i s h e d W o r k :

Bender, Lauren. "ROY G BIV." Baltimore City Paper. December 2009. p.
Bender, Lauren. Kitten in Space. Available for the iPhone. Featherproof Books, 2009.
Thurston, Kevin and Lauren Bender (illustrator). I’AM BORED Part 1, Boys Are Retards. Maple Spits #9.
Bender, Lauren. Whale Box. Baltimore, MD: Publishing Genius, 2007.
Bender, Lauren. Poem. Washington, DC: Big Game Books, 2007.
Bender, Lauren. Dictionary Poems. Onedit 8. 2007.
Bender, Lauren, Ed. WORD@PEEK Issue 1: Lovers 1 Haters 0. Baltimore, MD: PEEK Review. 2006.
Bender, Lauren. The Dictionary Poems. Tempe, AZ: New Lights Press, 2004.
Bender, Lauren. Guide to the Dictionary. Baltimore, MD: Furniture Press, 2003.
Bender, Lauren. “The Good Book.” LINK: A Critical Journal on the Arts in Baltimore and the World.
Baltimore, MD: Link Arts, Inc. 2002

Writings have also appeared in TITS: A 24 Hour Poetry Journal, The Shattered Wig Review, Rock Heals, f-hole, and The Poetry Experiment.

H o n o r s :

Artist Group Award Grant presented to Narrow House Recordings, Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, 2008.

Departmental Painting Award, Best in Show, Towson University, 2002.

and from then on i never opened a band-aid the same way again

that it will turn to astroturf
that it turns to marshmallow topping

i hate vacation


i can't remember how i used to do this. somebody tell me something to do.