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I’ve had more fathers than I can hold
in my hands. Some of them raised me some didn’t. The one
with my eyes has sired half of Pittsburgh. I swear I've seen them on billboards
and taxicabs. In shopping malls, Dollar Stores, football stadiums.
I’ve caught a baseball in my bare hands, hiked a trail, slid a crackling snakeskin
between my fingers, slept to the sound of a lullaby.
Some had heavier knuckles when they hit me some hurt me worse than others.
I’ve had fathers who were just okay. I mean
what’s a father anyway if not just a man who teaches you things.
I’ve had a Dad I’ve called “Dad”
but I’ve also had a “Daddy” and the girls who've gotten flowers at work,
celebrated their birthdays in Vegas, will tell you that those two aren’t
the same thing. At all. I’ve had fathers who've
held my hair after showing me how to drink whiskey, straight, no chaser
and fathers who only drank Gatorade when they coached or others
who were players
of all kinds hockey, swimming, some didn’t
know I was watching them from the stands, some invited me to their box seats.
A few of my fathers had money. Like, money money, climbed Mont Blanc,
interior decorator, can afford to eat whatever they want money.
I’ve had a few vegan fathers. A few carnivorous fathers,
the kind who hunted sometimes for girls who were going
to be better cooks than I’d ever be.
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How would I know / when I’m empty and quiet like breath?
Historian Gerald Horne has developed a grand theory of U.S. history as a series of devastating backlashes to progress—right down to the present day.
Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.