Near Where the Blood Pools
Ben Terry
Coming July 2024!
Pre-Order Available! 

Near Where the Blood Pools

ISBN 978-1-60489-345-8, trade paper, $18.95 Sale $17.95






About the Author:

Since 2006, Ben has been living in a level 5 prison in Missouri where he’s serving life without parole for ending the life of another man under questionable circumstances. Through the encouragement of family and friends, he began pursuit of mastering the craft of writing a few years into his incarceration. A pursuit as foolhardy as sailing for the ends of the earth, but what else is there in life but pursuit? After publication in several literature and poetry journals over the years, such as: Trajectory, Rattle, The JJournal, Hanging Loose, The Coal City Review, Slipstream and this is his first full length work.

Excerpt from Book:

The Highway


Mindless concrete running away

Until it’s no place to go


Nothing good ever came from

The absence of dirt and gravel.

Why’s everything got to be so goddam gray?

Evergreen, hell!


Scotch pine and Hemlocks

Walking up hill.

Both sides of the road.


Yellow – yellow – yellow

Truck tires lick up the stripes

As he crowds the center line,

passing them out the back

like tapeworms from a metal dog


Laughing he remembers

His sister’s bitch cur,



“Eat and shit, eat and shit.

All the goddam dog does

is eat and shit,”

His daddy would cuss.


Faded hatchback

Huddled on the shoulder

Like a sorry Easter egg

Rust creeping up the fender wells

Peeking through the bumper


Black plastic trash bag

Half stretched over the door frame

Slouches like a limp dick

Waving “hi” as he blows by


Plastic sack of hamburgers

Disappeared off the neighbor’s grill.


They raised hell with Fortner.

Swore us wormy-ass kids took it.


Daddy hit the son of a bitch so hard

A three-day punch grew into two weeks

in the county jail.


Sent him tumbling backwards over his own grill.

An ashy gray coal

bucked up skyward,

Field goaled those big ol’ titties.

Neighbor’s yuck-mouthed wife

squealed like Satan was

carving his name on her.


Bologna tits, they called her,

after a drunken 4th.

Yuck mouth flipped her mams out.

A regular trailer park fireworks show.


Twelve days short of daddy coming home

A yellow grocery sack comes hanging

half out of Freckles’ pucker-knot

like a tapeworm.

Set his sister to crying.


Blue jean jacket and black dress

Flash of white goose flesh

Wind whipping the hem above her knees

Stride for stride


Wherever she’s headed

it’s on purpose.

Curled in on herself

like she’s guarding a candle flame.


Five miles from nothing

his mind stutters a moment;

some dope whore

running from her man.


Goddam, he swears beneath his breath.

Too late now cause he’s

already slowing down.


She don’t run,

Just keeps striding.

Hair lapping her face,

Inch high, she grows beautiful

In the rearview.


Elbowing the door,

she stands there like a penitent,

head down in the cold.


Handle works, he yells.

She knocks again.


Cussing himself swell,

We got a live one here folks,

leans over to open the door

Dress slides to her thigh.

With a foot in the cab

She uses her knocking elbow

to heft herself in.


Reaches out to pull it to.


She’s got hands after all.

The trucks tires buzz across

The drunk line marking the shoulder.


He flips the heater on as an afterthought.

Watches a bit of leaf sputter up from the vent,

flutter down to the seat between them,

landing on the mountaintop of my rusted lid.


Slowly she unfolds,

revealing a little green bird

cupped, shivering,

against her chest


“Quaker,” she says.


“I’ll say, and colder than

picnic chicken.”


“A parrot.”


“Yeah, that too.”

She smiles at his joke.


She ain’t just rearview beautiful,

she’s real beautiful

Reaching forward,

he cranks the heater.