Little Psychodrama of Masculinity, A Poem by Chris Russell

I think it’s atonement with your father

if you’re trying to find a little of yourself in his shadow

and finding some positive way to make use of that darkness.

I’m reminded of how my father and I

wished we were both hammered into our little psychodrama of masculinity,

it was like we were dreaming of building a house with nails

we confused for each other’s wishes long before we held hammers.

Hammers and nails weren’t just there along for the ride to

watch us drive our memories into one another.

We were both pretty bad at confusing ourselves into each other.

The moment we stuck into something we could agree on

one of us would fall back out and want to start over.

I didn’t approach whatever war was happening within me

holding a pitchfork of duty

while I dreamed of launching off the edge of loneliness

and gliding over a landscape of loss like a flying squirrel.

But I was building up to something I could someday look back on.

Once, I even heard myself laughing in my sleep with my father

over the fact that we couldn’t build a damn thing to save our lives.

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