|Photo courtesy of Jonathan Alcorn. |
I am Himmelhoch's Son
I was Werner Himmelhoch’s illegitimate son,
and I also loved a woman in a housing project in Pacoima.
Decades later, I remember one hot and smoggy
afternoon: We lay coated in a sheen, smoking Marlboros, exhaling clouds
that drifted across her peace sign poster before
getting sucked out the window by the
traffic on Interstate 5.
Even then, in 1979, it roared.
She, Weewish, told me that day,
“You’re not illegitimate. Your last
name is Himmelhoch.”
“Whatever I do is not
good enough for him,”
I replied. Simultaneously
a pack of Hells Angels thundered
south toward Gardena.
Eventually Weewish dumped me,
moving back to the Morongo Reservation
two hours east on the San Bernardino Fwy.
Secretly I was relieved, as was, of course, my Father.
Oh, I missed the steady supply of sex,
but seldom thought about her three sons
who’d cry or scowl when I'd enter.
“You are better off without her,” my father noted.
Words erupting from his core, carrying all the Germany
he had left. Pop never spoke much,
but he spent hours teaching me how
to swing a golf club
before I disappointed him
and he walked back into the only house I knew, shaking
his head. The wanted man, who with
slide ruler and T-square routed 8-lane freeways across
mountains, marshes and a million razed bungalows
while I was flunking schoolboy math
and earning the name
Today Weewish lives in a mansion paid for by money lost.
One son is a pit boss, another a Council Man.
The oldest fell asleep behind the wheel
New Years Day 2000.
Someone had to chisel
W E R N E R
O T T O
H I M M E L H O C H
1 9 1 5 - 1 9 9 2
across a marble slab.
I teach your children how to write if I’m not breaking
par at Chester Washington County Golf Course.
Mark J. Blocker