from ON FATHERS < ON DAUGHTERS: A NOVEL

 

Daddy

Daddy

A cricket sings

Ko Un

 

I comb my daughter’s hair.

Where are you going, stars?

Tomasz Salamun

 

My daughter, my daughter, what can I say

Of living?

George Oppen

 

The baby / sits in her chair / smiling / shining // on good & / bad alike

What does she care / for the false republics of the world?

Anselm Hollo

 

The Poet is he who watches. And what does he see? Paradise.

Andre Gide

 

This Time We Are Both

Clark Coolidge

 

 

Pigs in dungarees & ducks in boots   chickens that sing

We still eat ‘em

                                   Cheating at everything   

in order to win food, feelings, for

This is my schtic

Going over Niagara in a barrel

Kissing in beds     

                                            Is like nobody going to the reading, or

Just a glorified licking

When the electrics

                            I can see your bones

  & don’t need a manifesto around “tenderness”   it just is

                                Coated in breadcrumbs, this     print-on-demand

         Sleeplessness, dominos, rocksteady, hot body, foot says      I love you    rushing through space   towards my face   & then smashing in

          The library cuts

Candy makes me

Ouchy

                 We do not talk about beheadings (yet)

We talk about what we did in the neck & the spots

                                                         & the cuts

& the cuts

On commons, roads, car seats, parks, donut shops, arks

You will have

The blood & the milk & the dance & the babies

                        & us men

    With this void & these daughters against everything   it

feels a little

squeaks if not oiled

       Here through a hole in your earlobe

A girl considering vegetarianism through the lens of Beyonce

Because a girl is a machine made of words

                                                         & only within this system does each particle attain

               A joke involving eyeballs

             Because one leg = flapping    & 3 says

  LEAVE ME ALONE

With the coati mundi & the word search & the mobile phones

                                            Where will you be, my little daughters

                                                                                                         When I am old and alone

           I shall wear my hair        instead of Emily

                                  For what does it feel to be loved in this world

                                                                                                    When you are old and alone

                      Carp should not be this big

            3 peas mean I can get down

                                                                             Helpful with anything dangerous

               The whole of October       I will never be your ruler

For obvious reasons

Insisting upon the name      Dr Funkenstein

   All of the fathers    as tiny as sperm    at the end           of a bed

               Weighing the beauty of daughters

Against the hell of all else

                                                    But it was good

To visit capitals

      And to leave them  it was good

                                                     to see your crayons

In a fine frenzy, rolling

                            Oh, good, daddy, bad

Cop     until sundown   she places an X

                         Where the bad mothers are    believed to be good

                   Penguins, birds, vultures

Fathers all sitting        for peace      in the dark

As unpopular as love is, as socialism, the father is

                                               Shining the shoes, he is

   Invisible, inviolable, uncomfortable

              For these are the South London boroughs & we owls have been driven out of the bohemian quarters to inhabit them

                       In our nests, in our knees, with our books & CDs

& always the cuts

                         & these poems