Poem for all you Father Haters
Poet directs projectile vom of rancid bile at poet Louise Gluck for being her Dad’s stupid girlfriend. From Identity Theory.
"The House on Marshland" by Nora Chassler
Could someone have loved you?
Only a woman without senses
with a mouth as big as a melon
agape for melodrama
buttered up with married parents
I find a book of poems
by the famous poet Louise Gluck
everything is a named plant
then there's some sex
gingerly set in among the leaves.
I try to think,
Am I a poet too?
Am I if she is?
Comfortably wallowing in self-pity
the skinny book falls closed to its flyleaf
a blank page
I notice it's inscribed to you
"Fifteen years later I still know that you taught me
to speak."- Louise
No wonder her poems are asleep
Only a false person
a misguided Long Island duck
could mistake you for deep
you didn't teach us to speak
you didn't teach anything
except how to laugh about misery
there is no truth in you
If you taught the famous poet, Louise Gluck to speak,
inscription on the front cover of her book, The House
would have me assume, then why didn't you teach me
anything. I think,
she doesn't know, she thought you taught her something
nostalgising or worse. She thought that because she is
from a sweet
suburban home and academics build their lives around
can produce malodorous love in them until well into
their sixties. In
other words I thought, this Gluck, she must be a big
poetry, romanticizing my father. Because my father is
a bad man. He's
irresponsible. He's sleazy and when he speaks of love
his mouth curls
up like a villain. He has turned away from love and he
what it is.
You know what really bothers me?
That I can't be as bitter as I am
without feeling ashamed
things that other people have forgotten
I never had
then I find a book of poems by Louise Gluck
an old girlfriend of my dad's
it is inscribed
"All these years later I still believe you taught me
How can she be so stupid
How can all these poetesses sleep at night
with their dime-store fantasies
of men as men
Men are an impasse
my father is a rubbery clam
because of him I can't feel softly about people
Nora Chassler is from New York but lives in Brighton on the south coast of England. She got a masters in creative writing from St. Andrews. She is writing a novel, a love story that she started when she was on jury duty.