The Engineer of Vertical Frontiers
January 1, 2010
Jan 1, 2010
O inauspicious birth.
I was born a donkey, a capon, then a snotsized
polliwog, born & snorted up a horse’s
nostril as it drank from a pond.
Then a foulsome stinker Crusoe washed
onto our shore, crying “Orright!” which Pa,
a lover of all things Brit, christened me:
Orright. I’m Orright.
All noble reckoning pointed to a white-
beamed path, a CEO Pa (deemed a fearsome
foe re-educated to his grave),
a swanly Ma (a roader’s wife, too vain
they cried & drowned her in her own toilettes)
who tenderly scraped my ears of wax with a sterling
toothy spoon stippled with my surname.
Now, I’m not deserving a name.
I’m a titbit Xiao, a dollop easily bored,
A trolloping doer, I loll & gag,
at the teargas factory, at the denture factory,
at the heart ticker factory.
I’m not fond of people, see,
though I’m quite fond of the idea of people.
Inside my bunker, a belljar in every room.
Inside each belljar, a cloudcapt city of silksack
buildings solar-powered by a field of weedsized
turbines so air will be purer than virgins.
Dumb Ideas, Pa’s cadaver wheezes.
Go back to the factory of dentures, Orright.
Work hard, Orright, work hard.
Help fund the next generation of Black journalists, editors, and publishers.
Boston Review’s Black Voices in the Public Sphere Fellowship is designed to address the profound lack of diversity in the media by providing aspiring Black media professionals with training, mentorship, networking opportunities, and career development workshops. The program is being funded with the generous support of Derek Schrier, chair of Boston Review’s board of advisors, the Ford Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, but we still have $50,000 left to raise to fully fund the fellowship for the next two years. To help reach that goal, if you make a tax-deductible donation to our fellowship fund through August 31 it will be matched 1:1, up to $25,000—so please act now to double your impact. To learn more about the program and our 2021-2022 fellows, click here.
January 01, 2010