Thursday, August 30, 2012

George Hitchcock

Group Portrait

the family is gathered here is this picture
Uncle Ted on the left smoking consonants
Aunt Beth in her mechanical nightgown
father on his motorbike mother getting
refueled the sons and daughters busy
becoming monuments   grandfather the lion
of lounge bars grandmother who took in
the sky on laundry-lines and hung
her money out to dry under heat lamps

they've got style this family
with its epaulettes and sciatica
they're thinkers they make fans
to cool the ants and teach bees
how to pomade their moustaches
originals that's what they are
their faces waxed like apples
their gloves cut off at the knuckles

they study they learn to turn leaves
into lighter fluid they parse sentences
from almanacs they become famous
flying about the moon on mothwings
when they grow old they embroider
sparks and go to Victor Herbert on
Wednesday afternoons trailing innocents
behind them kites on umbilical cords

--George Hitchcock

fr. Mirror on Horseback, 1979

and in One-Man Boat: The George Hitchcock Reader
[Ashland, Oregon: Story Line Press, 2003]


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