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The Locals’ Row Boats in Hemingway’s “Indian Camp”

The governor has blood cancer

and looks like Lex Luthor

and just busted balls out in the county

for its schools not having enough air conditioning

and Baltimore’s on pace to murder

pieces of itself at least 300 times this year.

Lex doesn’t peep.

Last night in class when Hemingway’s inventions

rowed boats over to save one Indian

by C-section with a jackknife,

then kill another by dismissal, my students,

whose aunts and cousins and brothers and mothers

still have Sandtown-Winchester addresses,

taught me to distrust any figurative visitor

that can row a boat better than the literal locals.

My Westside students, when discussing masculinity,

Hemingway’s masculinity, think we’re a nation of pussies

and Hemingway’s story’s father-doctor would agree.

But father-doctor, all bootstraps and blue matter at 5 a.m.,

gathers tackle and drives southwest about 5 miles

from his home in the governor’s county

down Dulaney Valley Road to cast a clear line

into Loch Raven from the bridge.

Posted 09/22/15
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