Father, I Found the Movies: Featured Poetry by Chad Bennett

January 21, 2020 | 1 book mentioned

Our series of poetry excerpts continues with a poem from Your New Feeling Is the Artifact of a Bygone Era, the new collection by Chad Bennett. Bennett begins his poem with lines from an unpublished interview from the early 1960s between Warhol and the art critic David Bourdon. The interview proper begins with a Warholian question for Bourdon: “Am I really doing anything new?” Bennett is able to channel that particular magic and mystery of Warhol as he inhabits his persona in this poem.

“Andy Warhol”
[Unpublished interview, 1962]

I don’t want to know who
the father of this movement
is. In those Shirley Temple
movies, I was so disappointed
whenever Shirley found her
father. It ruined everything.
She had been having such a
good time, tap dancing with
the local Kiwanis Club or
the newspaper men in the city
room. Those newspaper men,
who want everything ruined,
don’t want to know who
ruined it. So in the city I was
a good Shirley Temple, dancing
with men in the club, or with
this local in a room in the city.

Who was it who was with
those men? Who had the time?
The city? (Was I in the city?)
It disappointed those in the know
who so want to know who is
or was or had been having who is
or was or had been dancing.
The city was a ruined temple, or
a temple of ruined time,
I don’t know. Whenever I had
the time I know I was good, or
found I had been. In time,
I ruined everything. Father,
I found the movies.

Copyright 2019 Sarabande Books/Chad Bennett. All rights reserved. Posted here with permission of Sarabande Books. 

is a contributing editor for The Millions. He is the culture editor for Image Journal, and has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Esquire, and The Kenyon Review. His newest book is Longing for an Absent God. Follow him at @nickripatrazone and find more of his writing at nickripatrazone.com.

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