Gil Orlovitz


In this wild quiet, my father,

where shall I look for what you are?

The wind is oaken; the firmament is beyond cavil;

the pitcher of milk is swung from the brooding hip of the louverbreasted girl—

is there not a mouth somewhere

of you from an old hunger

to come


I despise a bellyless father

But in this wild quiet I hear the cracking of hair knuckles—

like that of insects after taking off their gloves,

ready to do battle—and I remember

that just before you died I cracked your hairy knuckles for you, and I ate

for you, and I voided for you, and I battled the wild quiet.

Gil Orlovitz

Gil Orlovitz's first book of poetry, Concerning Man, was published in 1947. Among his numerous volumes of poetry and novels are Selected Poems (1960) and Art of the Sonnet (1961). He was born in Philadelphia, PA, and died in 1973.

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