Fatherhood By Pat Condliffe


Did he give assent,
That father there –
The one standing
By the swings,
Not as fair as he once was,
Pushing his boy
Towards his youth’s apogee,
As they both smile,
As they both love,
As they both giggle;

That day then,
When he sees
Her beautiful happy face
Drawn, broken with tears
From struggle,
From absent                consent,
As she does cry,
As she cannot love,
As she does fear;

When that father sees her,
With her new dead
China doll stare,
Will he question if his
Was the permission slip
Slipped to his boy
By never teaching
The meaning of ‘No’?

By Pat Condliffe


Pat Condliffe is a doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney, Australia. His field of study is Australian literature. Patrick’s thesis is concerned with hoax literature and the construction of literary identities, and the intersection therein with the appropriation of gender and culture. Of particular focus is how the critical establishment reacts to hoax identity politically at the various stages of a hoax – before discovery, at discovery, after discovery. Patrick is wrestling with the question of whether literary forgery, within the realm of fiction (rife as it is with pseudonymous figures), is grounds for almost certain pariah status – as it inevitably is. Patrick’s other research interests include horror, westerns, science-fiction, and all things genre. An avid collector of comics, he has successfully passed that essential gene on to his young daughters, as well as the superpower of cooking. In a past life Patrick was a chef, before fleeing – in a manner akin to Lord Jim – to briefly become a goatherd in southern Spain. When not teaching, Patrick tries to write poems and genre literature. His critical writing and reviews have been published in SoutherlyGriffiths Review, and Media International Australia. He is a former editor of Philament, the University of Sydney Journal of the Arts.

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