Order

By Randall Mann Randall Mann
For once, he was just my father.
We drove to the Computing Center
in a Monte Carlo Landau
not technically ours. Lexington,

1977. That fall. The color
had settled, too, undone
orange-brown and dull yellow,
crimson. And it was something,

yet not, the pile of  leaves
just a pile of  leaves. Sorry to think
what thinking has done to landscape:
He loved punched cards,

program decks and subroutines,
assembly languages
and keypunch machines.
Even my father looked small

next to a mainframe.
The sound of order;
the space between us.
We almost laughed, but not for years —

we almost laughed. But not. For years,
the space between us,
the sound of order
next to a mainframe.

Even my father looked small.
And keypunch machines,
assembly languages,
program decks and subroutines.

He loved punched cards,
what thinking has done to landscape —
just a pile of leaves. Sorry to think,
yet not, the pile of leaves

crimson. And it was. Something
orange-brown and dull yellow
had settled, too, undone
1977, that fall, the color

not technically ours, Lexington
in a Monte Carlo Landau.
We drove to the Computing Center.
For once he was just, my father.

Source: Poetry (April 2013).

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2013
 Randall  Mann

Biography

Randall Mann’s poems are often set within the landscape of Florida or California. Influenced by Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Bishop, and Donald Justice, Mann’s poetry—at once vulnerable, unflinching, and brave in its ambivalence—explores themes of loss, attraction, brutality, and expectation. Of his preference for working in form, Mann says, “Form helps me approach more comfortably the personal, helps me harden argument.”

Mann is . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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