George Bandy :: Newport News ::


Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’ve lived all of my life south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I come from Bandy, which is located in southwest Virginia. I was six when my family moved to Hampton Roads. My dad escaped a life in the coal mines to work as a pipefitter at the Newport News Shipyard. With my very first day in class I was criticized by the teacher for saying “y’all” and eliding vowels to get to what I meant to say.

Newport News

Summer nights
On rooftop & flatten tin
With a short rail to remind us
To go no further,
Though further was there:

A twelve-inch no-name Japanese TV,
Black & White,
From the age of three channels
And the birth of PBS,
All in analog,
With ghosts and snow
And off the air I-Ds.

Hubs of registration
Made for the modern family
From the duress of need
And given sotto voce,
Outer Limits fashion,
Declarations of end of days
With promises of more—if only.

Something for the Engineer
In twilight to attend,
While house & hearts cool
And thoughts of inside,
Back to attic rooms,
Seem inevitable & cruel.