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Randolph College MFA Director
Poet, Playwright, & Performer



"The poems in Father, Child, Water by Gary Dop are funny, wicked, and poignant. Dop’s poetic gaze is wide-ranging and piercing. The poems about his father engage with the violence embedded in American masculinity and the character-driven poems are empathic and quirky. A highly enjoyable and memorable book."

-- Eduardo C. Corral for POETRY MAGAZINE 

Have You Heard the One About
the madwoman who gave birth without screaming
till she held her child? She wailed:
He’s going to die. He’s going to die. And he did

eighty-four years later in a fishing village where he retired
with his wife and their latest Shih Tzu, Dreamy.
I know there’s no satisfying punch line, no

little joke about mom’s prediction, and nothing
to barb with the sanity of a mother’s pain—
nothing, that is, till you examine

your satisfied sigh when you heard that the baby
lived. Distracted, you pranced past the little truth—
every joke’s companion—the madwoman

was right: The boy died. The crazy mother
mourned the death to come, the death
of the old man in the infant, the death we forget

in favor of what we call sanity, that flimsy gift
of some other madwoman who birthed
the rest of us and the jokes we bear.

Evander Holyfield's Left Ear Remembers June 28, 1997

How to Pretend You've Read

Moby Dick

Pothead Pete's English Presentation

People Watching

To The Ice Cream Man


I got no green money for your red,

white, and blue bomb pops.  You say

they're delectable, and delectable,

I think, means a thousand dime-cicles

plus sugar sparkles.  I tasted it

in my head.  You said only

really hard, only one dollar,

like dollars is dimes and everybody

can get delectables any time, but

Mom says since Dad got his slip

from Ford we won't have steaks

on Sundays or probably

new backpacks or those shoes

that light up on the back part

when you run.  Dad likes

fudge pops and beer.  I can run

like lightning, faster than your truck

and your bell.  If I grow up

I'll drive a fast car with an ice cream

freezer in the back seat.  Nobody

likes your bell.

Please use this form to say hello or yo or hey. It's a lonely world, and sometimes it's nice to reach out--it is almost always lovely to receive a note!

Thanks! Message sent.

"The Girl With No Nightmares"

                                 a poem

The Switch Key

written & directed

by Gary Dop

(in post production)

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