Benjamin Niespodziany

Benjamin Niespodziany is a night librarian at UChicago and has no idea how to ride a pogo stick. He spends his days running the multimedia art blog and music label [neonpajamas]. He recently released a chapbook of lofi poems known as Ants on Stilts and has had his work published in formercactus, Occulum, Ghost City Press, tenderness, yea, and a small handful of others. Find him: @neonpajamas or soundcloud.

THE FIRST TIME I PERFORMED by Benjamin Niespodziany

1. The first time I performed in Russia was under the direction of the king. His daughter’s best friend’s wedding was held in a refurbished factory that once made statues of the great whirling dervishes. I was the third piece of the matryoshka at the wedding, jumping out of a cloud once the song started to play. The fellow who fell after me broke his leg, and the rest of the event was a medical disaster. The king got drunk. We still got paid. 2. The first time I performed in Penn Station, an overweight man asked me to be…

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CORPORATE CLIMATE by Benjamin Niespodziany

Corporate encourages that we ride to work on company pogo sticks. Company bicycles and unicycles are also okay, but everything else is frowned upon. “We can’t force anyone,” the CEO laughs. Sheryl hates to bounce, rides in on a skateboard every morning. Everyone used to adore Sheryl, used to throw morning glories at her in the staff parking lot. Now co-workers spit on her as they pass her new office in the broken elevator full of fax machines. I remain a loyal employee, a pogo commuter covered head to toe in Band-Aids. My bruises and scabs are the only things…

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