February 21, 2006

Some snippets

Some snippets from Thom Gunn's last book of poetry, Boss Cupid. I've not been feeling myself for quite some time, so I'm happy that such things can still give me a little bit of a respite from, well, myself...little lines to help you catch your breath...

From "A Young Novelist (whose first book was published in the same week that his lover died)"

Once on his way to school a schoolboy surfaced
From all of loss to one cold London street
And noticed minute leaves, they were soft points,
Virgin-green, newly eased out of black twigs,
And didn't know, really, what to make of them;
Then turning back to it found he no longer
Knew what to make of the other thing, despair.

And "In the Post Office"

That Fall after you died I went again
To where I had visited you in your pain
But this time for your--friend, roommate, or wooer?
I seek a neutral term where I'm unsure.
He lay there now. Figuring she knew best,
I came by at his mother's phoned request
To pick up one of your remembrances,
A piece of stained-glass you had made, now his,
I did not even remember, far less want.
To him I felt, likewise, indifferent.

"You can come in now," said the friend-as-nurse.
I did, and found him altered for the worse.
But when he saw me sitting by his bed,
He would not speak, and turned away his head.
I had not known he hated me until
He hated me this much, hated me still.
I thought that we had shared you more or less,
As if we shared what no one might possess,
Since in a net we sought to hold the wind.
There he lay on the pillow, mortally thinned,
Weaker than water, yet his gesture proving
As steady as an undertow. Unmoving
In the sustained though silent aversion, grim
In wordlessness. Nothing deflected him.
Nothing I did and nothing I could say.
And so I left. I heard he died next day.

Makes it okay to be gray outside, doesn't it?

hear thom gunn read from boss cupid | trailer for new linklater film, a scanner darkly | brokeback mountain scenes recreated in legos | are you there god? it's me, margaret | bears bears bears...panda bears and polar bears and sugar bears and...manatees? and otters?

Posted by jason at February 21, 2006 04:04 PM
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