tony hoagland | my father’s vocabulary

16 08 2010

PoetryDispatch No.332 | August 17, 2010

TONY HOAGLAND

MY FATHER’S VOCABULARY

by Tony Hoagland

In the history of American
….speech,
he was born between “Dirty
Commies” and “Nice tits.” .

He worked for Uncle Sam,
and married a dizzy gal from
….Pittsburgh with a mouth on her.

I was conceived in the decade
between “Far out” and
….“Whatever”;

at the precise moment when
….“going all the way”
turned into “getting it on.”

….… Our last visit took place in the
….twilight zone of a clinic,
between “feeling no pain” and
….“catching a buzz.”

For that occasion I had carefully
….prepared
a suitcase full of small talk.

.—But he was already packed and
….going backwards,
with the nice tits and the dirty
commies,

to the small town of his
….vocabulary,
somewhere outside of
….Pittsburgh.

[from UNINCORPORATED PERSONS IN THE LATE HONDA DYNASTY, Graywolf Press]








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