blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2009  Vol. 9. No. 2






Triptych Wherein the Author Slays His Father.
Note the Father’s Shadow in the Central Panel

Chromogenic Print, 1959

He is gall & shadowplay, a viewfinder
Whose eye is spyglassed, orbing

Some radiance around his son, cantilevered:
The two souls
                       weighed upon the balance, throbbing

With the brinkmanship Cold War light. Boy in a gold plastic
Fencing mask, two plastic foils, rubber-tipped

To blunt such struggle. But the story’s governed & fixed—
Meet the stranger at the crossroads. Strike

Him down & finish him. He drops to the lawn;
His lids flutter shut
                               & when he requickens

His shadow joins him once again, horn-rims
Adjusted, a Kool straight lit in a trembling hand

To celebrate his resurrection. Touch the wounds,
He says—the side, the hands.
                                                 Touch now, it is permitted.

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