No Fatherhood Without Childhood

Sometimes I cannot use specific words. I can’t stand to read them. I do not want them to exist.

Children, he said. Without children I would not be the Father. No Fatherhood without childhood. I never wanted it, it was thrust upon me. Tribute of a sort but I could have done without, fathering then raising each one of the thousands and thousands and tens of thousands, the inflation of the little bundle to big bundle, period of years, and then making sure the big bundles if male wore their cap-and-bells, and if not observed the principle of jus primae noctis, the embarrassment of sending away those I didn’t want, the pain of sending away those I did want, out into the lifestream of the city, nevermore to warm my cold couch, and the management of the ___, maintenance of public order, keeping the zip codes straight, keeping the fug out of the gutters, would have preferred remaining in my study comparing editions of Klinger, the first state, the second state, the third state, and so on, was there parting along the fold? and so on, water stain and so on, but this was not possible, all went forth and multiplied, and multiplied, and multiplied, and I had to Father, it was the natural order, thousands, tens of thousands, but I wanted to wonder if if if I put a wood pulp mat next to a 100 percent rag print would there be foxing and whether the rumblings of the underground would shake the chalk dust from my pastels or not. I never wanted it, it was thrust upon me. I wanted to worry about the action of the sun fading what I valued most, strong browns turning to pale browns if not vacant yellows, how to protect against, that sort of thing, but no, I had to devour them, hundreds, thousands, ____, sometimes their shoes too, get a good mouthful of childleg and you find, between your teeth, the poisoned sneaker. Hair as well, millions of pounds of hair scarifying the gut over the years, why couldn’t they have just been thrown down wells, exposed on hillsides, accidentally electrocuted by model railroads? And the worst was their blue jeans, my meals course after course of improperly laundered blue jeans, T-shirts …

Believe me, the Dead Father said, I never wanted it, I wanted only the comfort of my armchair, the feel of a fine ________ paper, the cool anxiety about whether I had been cogged if if if with a restrike or not, whether some cunning fellow had steelfaced an old copperplate and run off the odd thousand extra impressions, …

if if if if—-


You may take my meaning, but for myself I withhold that which defines you. For the fire.

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