Jason Whitmarsh

History of MacGyver

 

MacGyver, aged 17, escapes a locked car using a toothpick and a can of aerosol. MacGyver, aged 8, plunges twelve stories into a dump truck. He emerges unscathed, carrying a nearly translucent umbrella. MacGyver, aged fourteen months, establishes contact with a friendly behind enemy lines using a pacifier, an English muffin, and a Glock. MacGyver, in utero, counts his possessions: ten soft fingernails, a fine, potentially braidable hair covering everything, any number of already vestigial parts: the muscles of the ear, gills, the tail bone, the tiny appendix.

 

“History of MacGyver” is reprinted from Poetry Northwest.

Jason Whitmarsh earned his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Washington. His poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Yale ReviewHarvard ReviewPloughshares,and Fence. His book, Tomorrow’s Living Room, won the 2009 May Swenson Poetry Award. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children.


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