Michael Andrews Arts

See Announcements for details on publication of Archilochus poems in Arion Magazine.

The Xmas Kid

by Michael Andrews







 

Artist Book, Pamphlet Edition

A single poem from the Xmas Kid project and associated photography. First Printed 2005. 8 5x7 inch pages of text using Goudy Oldstyle and Eva Antikva typefaces, integrated with 4 photographic illustrations.


Poem

The Xmas Kid

   We have art in order not to die of the truth.       Friedrich Nietzsche



When I finally got to 6 I discovered
Grubby's sister and Grubby's sister's girlfriend.
They were girls and mysterious and I loved them.
Grubby also got an electric train for Xmas.
It went around and around and over hills,
through tunnels, by trees and station platforms,
people and dogs, cows and cars and tall pine trees.
It had a whistle that blasted away the unknown.
I loved Santa Claus too.
Someday Santa would bring me an electric train,
and maybe a girl like Grubby's sister.
She was an older woman, maybe eight,
impossibly wise and arrogant and worldly.
I worshipped her. She teased me.
They sat on the big round fender of the 48 Merc
dangling their long, downy legs, teasing me,
getting into practice for bigger game later in life.
I said to Grubby, "Let's go play with your choo-choo."
They laughed and laughed and laughed.
"Your such a baby," they giggled, pointing fingers
that shot lasers through my guts.
"It's not called a choo-choo, it's called a train."
It was the first time I understood
the power of a woman.
"You're such a baby," Grubby's sister said,
"I'll bet you still believe in Santa Claus."
The world collapsed in toward it's middle,
like someone just punched it in the gut.
My face was red for being a baby, but now
my stomach turned green with suspicion
that I was about to hear something
I didn't want to hear, something
true and something horrible.
"What about Santa Claus," I demanded.
"He isn't real, you big baby."
I fought to keep my world for a while
but in the end, facts rolled me over
like a steamroller paving the world with truth.
I ran in the house and cornered Mom in the kitchen.
If she would only tell me it was a joke
it might not be true, I might be able to ignore the facts
I might be able to band-aide the world together again.
Well, the jolly old man in the red suit
died from a lethal dose of the truth.
I spent the rest of the day kicking cans,
throwing dirt clods in the field,
digesting facts.

In all my life, I never got an electric train.