Poem for July 4

July 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

(Note: the following poem is being serialized over the next several days’ worth of blog posts, two parts of the poem per day. It will conclude with parts 9 and 10 in the July 7th entry.)

Epic Poem Concerning the Poet’s Coming of Age as Attis

3. Slaughterhouse—

what the gym teachers smile
and say on rainy days when the field
outside is washing away. I fold

my arms at the penalty line then
run fast as I can across the parquet
while football players who call

each other faggot fire rubber balls
the color of scabs at my legs.

4. Beneath the Surface There Are 1000 Tiny Explosions, Son

My father lifts the hood. We stare,
my brother and I, at a world of wires
and the lesson he gives means we’re

almost men. With a twig, he points out
the parts. Radiator. Carburetor. The words
slam around inside our mouths

and everything — the oil stains on his hands,
my mother calling from the kitchen window,
Lynyrd Skynyrd singing about how to be

a simple man — everything comes crashing
down when we say the right words. He closes
the hood. Beneath it, a named world.

-Kara Candito, from Taste of Cherry (University of Nebraska Press, 2009)

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