First Paycheck (Found Poem 1)

First Paycheck
By Joseph Benavidez

How did you spend your first paycheck?

1968? I didn’t, didn’t spend it right away
               waited for other checks
      already a middle-aged loser
            I put it in the bank,
       never looked back
        Digital camera, clothes-TJ Maxx!
                winter coats for my brothers
                    and food. Food.
(wanted) portable cassette player.

Case W-467


That was “Science Says…” one of the first poems I wrote for Case W-467, a collection of poems about seeking a restraining order against my brother after his PTSD become too violent to continue living with him. This 80-page the book is available for purchase.

Divided into two sections, the first half journals the emotional turmoil of living with someone suffering from PTSD, deciding to get a restraining order and the pain of choosing to legally ban your brother from seeing you.

Part two tracks learning of my brother’s apparent suicide and coming to terms with his death – including having to write an obituary for him and funding his funeral.

Unique to Case W-467, the collection also includes edited transcripts of my brother’s psychotic outbursts recorded on my cell phone, as well as a full transcript of the trial when the judge granted me a restraining order.