UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
OLIVER RICE

The Waugh Descendency

Alexander, a physician,
a domestic tyrant with sadistic tendencies,
known by later generations as the Brute,

in 1866 begat Arthur,
book editor, occasional minor writer,
theatrical, egocentric, reactionary, sentimental,
pathologically devoted to his older son,
abusively unsympathetic to his younger,

Alec, begotten in 1898,
and Evelyn, begotten in 1903,
each a nature/nurture enigma,
precocious from the start,
conflicted by love/hate for both parents
and ambivalence toward each other,
each incited to defiance of the establishment,
Evelyn in time conceded as the nearer genius,

who in 1939 begat Auberon,
unwanted by either parent,
failed novelist, journal columnist,
scourge of society, anarchist, aging rake,
witty, convivial elsewhere,

who in 1963 begat Alexander,
who in 2001 sat by the deathbed of his father,
reflecting that neither had a regard to express,
that they had never, in all their years together,
experienced a true conversation.


Oliver Rice has received the Theodore Roethke Prize
and thrice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His
poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies
in the United States, as well as Canada, Argentina,
England, Austria, Turkey, and India. His book of poems,
On Consenting to Be a Man, is offered by Cyberwit,
a diversified publishing house in the cultural capital
Allahabad, India, and is available on Amazon.







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