Arrival

Hugh Fox

 

Im supposed to be this hundred and two

year old antiquity on the edge of cancellation,

right? I wont get into the patho-physiological

details, OK, but here I am having my

honeyed oakflakes and hot chocolate

for breakfast, getting my brain ready to

go out into the garden and try to poeticize

the flowers, bugs and mini-animals all

over the place, my gerontologist M.D.

wife over at the clinic where she works

(kind of a walking museum of white or

no hair and bent-over wrinkled, varicosed

bodies), when the front door bell rings

and....who is it? Alexandra (35) and

Beatrice (2) from Louisville-Kansas City,

now Ann Arbor, I was just bored, Ray

over at the library, the two of us just

home, and I thought you might be

lonely...lets go to the park or river or

lake or mall or...., little elf-beauty Beatrice

and her almost hispanic-looking art-genius

mom, and suddenly my knees and back

and eyes, guts, weltanshauung/world-view

are twenty-four again, instead of a hundred

and two, and I want to find unexplored,

untouched (at least since Neanderthal

times) territory where I can turn the stones into

colleges and cathedrals and bungalows,

find hill-land to plow and plant my corn

and potatoes in, plant my apple and peach

trees, rivers to fish in, plains for my cows

and bulls....time for my wife to return too

and start paying attention to the mirror instead

of the microscope.

 

 

Hugh Fox was born in Chicago, 1932, had polio as a kid and was the first human being to receive a pre-Salk serum that worked.  But because he had been crippled for more than a year, and his father was an ex-violinist turned M.D. and his mother a frustrated non-acting actress, he was soaked in culture during his entire childhood: violin, piano, musical composition, art, travel.   Hugh has a BS in Humanities and MA in English from Loyola University in Chicago, and a PhD in American Literature from the University of Illinois.  He became a Professor in the Department of American Thought and Language at Michigan State University in 1968 and remained there until he retired in 1999.  He was Editor of Ghost Dance: The International Quarterly of Experimental Poetry from 1968-1995.  The most recent of his 105 books are Collected Poetry (World Audience, 2008), Ghosts (Green Panda Press, 2008) and Alex (Rubicon Press,2008).

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