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Postreproduction Man

“Mapping Uncledaddy”
Honor Guard on Poppy Day:
Barefoot Naked with My Manhood's Ghost

Faculty Exhibition, Mason Gross Gallery, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Installation and performance

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM—Exodus 3:14
Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us—Ecclesiastes 44:1
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear—John 4:18

Mother died in 1968. Almost two years later Dad remarried, he was sixty-nine.
He told me about his wedding night hard-on, IT stood-up fine.
He and Stepmother moved to Florida. My perception of him was lost in time and place.
Since 1964 Brooklyn was home-base. I was a perfecta jockey in Manhattan’s Mickey Mouse race.
Dad’s sexual body haunts me as a same self-love-object.
His death in 1981 left love’s hope, faith, and need as my oedipal project.
Psychotherapy couldn’t touch my soul with its before and after-withinside speech.
Where was Dad on a spiritual map? Any location within my arm’s reach?
He’s dead! How-two find his love in New York? Do I have a Staten Island chance?
How- else the last waltz of life in death’s taboo tribal dance.
Dad had no sense of Europe, never a soldier over- there fighting for life near or far.
He didn’t drink alcohol. Maybe I’ll find Uncledaddy in a neighborhood bar?

So, you were a footsoldier the winter after D-Day, in WWII…
You’re a seventy year old widower…what does your son in California do?
Frostbite?! No! You stashed dry socks under your battle helmet…no worry of sweat.
And the winter was goddamn brutal—I didn’t forget.
Your trapped body heat kept those socks dry-as-a-bone on your head.
A lot of men, you said, lost toes left and right in sock-feet frozen dead.

When could I imagine something of life IT-self, as maybe God’s fatherly-love embrace.
Then Uncledaddy came alive in my hands, we were face-to-face.
Death felt skin-tight between us. I choked on loneliness…sob-gasping for air.
Then my head was on his shoulder…his hand stroked my hair.
Fear, guilt and sorrow vanished in time’s betweeness of my ear and his eyebrow.
He softly whispered…There, there, it’s all right…I AM here now.

“Mapping Uncledaddy”
Pen and ink drawing with body hair