“Centerfold Art” by Ben L. Hiatt

Ben L. Hiatt


It was 1968
& I was using
paper masters
to print poetry

you’d type directly
on them
or draw with
a special pen

then slap them
on an offset press
and start printing

my 4-year-old son
was always
used near
as much paper
as I did

I gave him the master
for page 22 & 23
the centerfold
for that issue
of The Grande Ronde Review
told him to draw
whatever he wanted
& went back to printing

finished, he handed me
the paper plate
told me it was
ready to print

he’d turned it wrong
the page numbers
were at the top
upside down
to his drawings

now he is 35 years old
and I have one copy
of that old poetry mag

centerfold signed
by his small hand
page numbers printed
upside down
on the centerfold
& the memory
of the look in his eyes
as he watched
his art, page
after page after page
of it
ripping out of that press

from Rattle #15, Summer 2001
Tribute to the Underground Press


Ben L. Hiatt: “Poetry is not something you do; it’s something you are.”

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