Who’s The Bastard Now?  

Caleb Hipple 

1. A Hippie Fucks My Mom, 2000 

Tune in, Turn on and Drop out” (his favorite quote on Facebook) 

Robbie, my absent creator, holds a breath—  

he imagines instead her lover’s puffed chest, quakes  

knowingly, blows on plump dandelions, unsheathes  

in her stretching garden. Hidden, a snake  

slides from basement cinder blocks, two states away.  

Terry pins, presses, severs its squirming neck. 

He doesn’t fear its bite, tongue, or patternless sway, 

as four kids upstairs ask what’s nextnextnex—  

thinks I’m child number five, made weeks prior. 

Back in Ayden, NC, a spill of cum won’t unslick 

the floor. Beneath tiles and grout, there’s fire 

ivying towards Pennsylvania. Sweat drips 

down truth; I can’t (but could?) be of the love she spurned, 

yet my flowering roots ask when we’ll return.


2. I Imagine Robbie and His Dad


You didn’t just win; you championed two states! 

Robert Sr. smells pine-tar under a hellish 

sun, on his brow and shaking hands. Relish 

soaks through a bun, beneath my nails. (I am late 

by twenty-one years… or early. No, I arrive 

at the last inning.) I can’t find your head 

amidst the jerseys, flying spit; the sky is red 

as thread from a ball. It wraps your career in five 

years of coaching, guiding our Robbie to bat  

at unseen meteors. He trips. And he hurts. 

In a Friday’s dusk, his pants rip; the tears bleed 

into a rusty slick. His dad hides in his hat, 

holds back tears; it is quiet. He doesn’t know why 

fatherless sons scream play ball, hoping the kid cries.


3. After Robbie Posts About Me Without Permission 

I scan my face like it’s your message, 

marked by hands I’ve never felt. So unfamiliar 

in a mirror, those pearlescent vestiges 

wait for me like a father: brow greased in anger, 

the nose, beard hiding moles. Punnet squares 

surround my patchworked childhood, cover questions 

and cover-up answers. I can’t even heave in air—  

or undig—I am the hole, the dirt, lessened 

but greater with each clenched scoop. Now nothing’s left 

for me to squeeze; this mud was bound to dry. 

We talked only once. This paydirt lead to your theft, 

your public claim, of my impossibly blue eyes… 

I too can’t keep secrets, so should’ve known sooner 

to give you my nickname for you are now “The Ruiner.” 

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