Poem 47 ± July 21, 2015

Chip Livingston
Dad Jokes Around Before Defining AIDS

He was a mountain gorilla and I was an old lady at the zoo.

There was blood on his clown suit; I was a 15-year-old boy.

He was a light bulb. I was seven angry lesbians.

Him: the difference between a venereal disease and a sly midget.

Talent scout; Aristocrat.

He: my father. I: another idiot dick sucker.

Chip Livingston.headshot.by Gabriel PadilhaChip Livingston is the author of the short story and essay collection, Naming Ceremony (Lethe Press, 2014); two poetry collections, Crow-Blue, Crow-Black (NYQ Books, 2012) and Museum of False Starts (Gival Press, 2010). Recent poems, essays, and stories appear in Court Green, Potomac Review, Cimarron Review, The Florida Review, Ploughshares, Hinchas de Poesia, and on the Poetry Foundation web site. Chip is nonfiction faculty in the low-res MFA program at Institute of American Indian Arts and is poetry faculty at the low-res Mile High MFA at Regis University. For more about Chip, visit chiplivingston.com.

This poem previously appeared in Naming Ceremony (Lethe Press, 2014)

Photo by Gabriel Padilha