Patrick Phillips

Patrick Phillips
Patrick Phillips is currently a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His first book, Chattahoochee University of Arkansas Press, 2004), received the 2005 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and his second, Boy, was published in 2008. He has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Fulbright Commission, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, where he first learned that Alan Shapiro has serious game. Phillips lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Drew University.

The Game

There was the squeak of the sneakers
and the pulse of the Moog.

Those denim-clad swaggering
dudes with their beers.

Kids Night and Hoop Night
and the Autographed Posters.

My big brother breathing you
in my ear.

Rollins to Roundfield
to McMillen to Criss:

my father's black sideburns,
my mother's lipstick.

There was me half-asleep
at the buzzer, half-dreaming

that winter-dark stagger
through acres of cars.

The stars and the stars
and the stars out the window

when I'd wake in a tangle
by my sister, and whisper

How far? to the pipe-smoke,
to the dashglow How far?

How far? to that endless
lost time, when my mother

once turned, like she turns now,
like an angel, forever,

to kiss me, and whisper
through the darkness Not far.