Watching 2001 with My Son the Film Major by Kip Knott

Watching 2001 with My Son the Film Major

I think somewhere there is a room
which I am living
an old man

in the future . . .

—Franz Wright

When the ape tosses the bone
2 million years into the future,

my son whispers, “Jesus Christ,”
and I see myself in him,

or at least myself as I was
more than forty years before

when I muttered the name
of the savior I believed in then.

My son has grown up
a non-believer in anything

remotely spiritual, proudly
faithless, fervently secular,

refusing even to utter
“under God” during The Pledge

every morning back in high school
when it crackled over the intercom

like a distant signal from space.
When HAL sings “Daisy”

slower and slower as he dies,
my son visibly mourns for him.

I mourn inside for the child
I once could hold entirely

in my arms. My son
leans closer to the screen

when the light show begins,
psychotropic streaks of color

illuminating his awe-struck
yet perfectly sober face.

I was high the first time
these lights transported me

to an otherworldly realm,
and laughed ecstatically

at the visions before me
like some possessed believer

enraptured in the presence
of his monolithic God.

When at last we reach the end,
that moment when the luminous

star child hovers over the world
like a miracle born

of a universe that created itself
out of nothing,

my son and I begin to cry,
together yet separate.


Kip Knott’s most recent book of poetry, Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom, and so on, is available from Kelsay Books. New work may be found or is forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Burningword Literary Journal, perhappened, and Typishly. More of his work may be accessed at