Download Breakfast with Thom Gunn (Phoenix Poets) by Randall Mann PDF

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By Randall Mann


Those who lack a expertise for romance have come

to stroll the lengthy Pier 7. right here on the end

of the imagined international are 3 low-flying gulls


like lies at the floor; the gradual red

of a pilot’s boat; the groan

of a fisherman hacking a small shark—


and our speech just like the icy water, a poor

translation that won't hold us across.

What introduced us west, besides? A hunger.


But ours isn't any Donner occasion, we who feed

only on surroundings, the most secure form

of obfuscation: see how the bay is a gray


deepening into grey, the colour of heartbreak.


Randall Mann’s Breakfast with Thom Gunn is a piece either direct and unsettling. Haunted via the afterlife of Thom Gunn (1929–2004), essentially the most liked homosexual literary icons of the 20th century, the poems are moored in Florida and California, however the backdrop is “pitiless,” the timber “thin and bloodless,” the phrases “like the icy water” of the San Francisco Bay. Mann, fiercely clever, open but elusive, attracts at the “graceful erosion” of either panorama and the physique, at the good looks that lies in unbeauty. With audacity, anxiousness, and unbridled hope, this proficient lyric poet grapples with dilemmas of the homosexual self embroiled in—and aroused by—a glittering, unforgiving way of life. Breakfast with Thom Gunn is instantaneously formal and unfastened, forging a chic integrity within the hearth of wit, depth, and betrayal.


Praise for Complaint within the Garden   

“We have prior to us a skillful, witty, passionate younger poet. . . . Randall Mann is either attuned to and at odds with the flora and fauna; he articulates the passions and predicaments of a self within a huge, arousing, yet occasionally brutal tradition. And he accomplishes these items with buoyant lyric sensibilities and rejuvenating skills.”—Kenyon Review



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Sample text

And the terns, they strutted then scattered when a sopping dog ran in, then out, of the thick fog. I was grateful you had pulled me away from my dull schedule for that walk, though I, selfish to the end, could not bring myself to say so. I’ll say it now, too late: purgatory will be like this: the nothingness behind us, the nothingness ahead; you and I, arm in arm— two men holding each other. • 21 • Last Call A giant birdof-paradise has climbed the bar: in this paradise there are no flowers, no flowers at all.

Goodbye to all of that, the weak; the chic; the dead. • 44 • Career A younger poet wrote to ask an older for a blurb. The older poet said Perhaps, which meant Do Not Disturb. But when the older poet saw a photo of the lad, the older man dipped his pen and wrote that he’d be glad to offer up the richest praise: If Bishop wed Magritte, these villanelles would be their spawn. And maybe they should meet. The younger poet cleaned his room. He wore his tightest shirt: when he fawned, he squeezed his arms, his flex a sort of flirt.

Soon we will be underground. But first, the long lush green of Duboce Park, the happiness of dogs! Goodbye now to their owners eyeing one another. Goodbye to the park’s locked men’s room, where once a man was found dead, his penis shoved into his own mouth. The world continues, the engine of the world the letter N. • 48 • III Let all flowers wither like a party. — j o h n b e r r y m a n, “d r e a m s o n g # 3 2 ” Ocean Beach seems cruel this August, the skeletal chill, even the gulls a little ambivalent.

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