Out There is Moving – Poem
Peter Jay Shippy
Where is my father? He made his mark. Had a few jars. And sidekick is apt, more or less–you kick the side. I’ve been rather like a cat. We opened the door to find a thirty-aught pointed our way. The Zenith was wounded. He had it sick. I’ve had a good roll. There were a few months he didn’t speak. It would have demanded too much of my time. I felt that if I said anything I’d lose it. He handed me two or three pages describing my background, what his parents were, those sad chapters. Too many numbers for a novel. Where is my father? I’ve missed meetings. Silence has voodoo all its own. I have one skin too few, as the saying goes, so goes America, the beautiful, so goes the story. Stoner means different things to different people. I prefer deadpan.
We took an icy route charted by fist-hard wrens jerking to baritone guitars. I was beside myself that a tanguero might take to the highway. The snow went a long way toward rescinding that fear. As anyone familiar with the man behind the curtain can attest, he felt pressure. Where is my father? Without the back-story fanfare we peter like fire. You tack like a whelping accordion. In close inspection, he was found to be holding out-of-state newspapers, a sack of marl, unsavory licenses and spools of magnetic tape. My room is a testament to the machine spirit locked inside the human heart. Also a popular place for kids to head after a long day doping. You can probably take some home and spend a few days with a nice chicken salad sandwich, etc.
And as the December sun begins to show itself over Nebraska a scream ripens and pitches into the pretend, into these faceless bins. The silos look like salt piles. Things began to curdle when the plant laid him by.
You see, I can’t readily be loved as I am a caution. Where is my father? He made a mark. We had a few jars at Boneys. I was like his sidekick, then, like the boy wonder or some jimmy. Never a single James. On the second floor of our old house I discovered a flawless reproduction of holy Mount Fuji made from Bisquick and refried squash. Clinch the matter? Where did he go? Dying is simple thing once you know how to dharma the Nikkei. And as the sun hands us over to the proper authorities, we kiss.
Peter Jay Shippy is the author of Thieves’ Latin. Last year, he was awarded a fellowship by the NEA.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Fairleigh Dickinson University
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group