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Coming Out, Again

By James Spears, Nov 13, 2017 at 6:28 PM.

More work by James Spears
  1. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

    Coming Out, Again

    Wrong restaurant. My mistake.

    He arrives from 20-minutes away
    to a cold breakfast special
    and news delivered as a riddle:
    "Terminal, but healthy."

    Our 13-year argument,
    from birth to adolescence,
    rings in both our heads.
    He goes flat.

    Pull out my brave,
    and statistics given
    by an immigrant accent
    in a too-happy tie,

    an apology to him
    as much as to me,

    and his favorite words:
    "You were right"
    in the worst possible way.

    He nods. Searches for an answer.
    Leaves it alone.
     
  2. Jan Harper

    Jan Harper Well-Known Member

    superb image, that tie *nods*

    that ending bounces around with wordlessness

    a cold coming out. likes all round.
     
  3. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jan. Toughest thing I ever had to do. Most important thing I ever had to write.
     
    Timothy Pond and Jan Harper like this.
  4. Mary McCarthy

    Mary McCarthy Well-Known Member

    the meeting at the end of that life long argument, that "You were right" in the "worst possible way" , the nod, acknowledgement, the silence. Like the fifth act in a tragedy---yet. still, a meeting, a recognition, a kind of forgiveness, a kind of love. The restraint of this holds an infinity within.
     
  5. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

    I may consider changing this title "Tragedy, Fifth Act" based on your comment here.

    Mary I don't believe we've become acquainted but I really do appreciate the comment and read.

    .I tried to talk about the subject without talking about the subject here. Your post makes me feel like that was accomplished.
     
    Mary McCarthy likes this.
  6. Mary McCarthy

    Mary McCarthy Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, you did. It took me a few reads, but you caught the tension, the sorrow, the regret, so much there in the wordlessness.  And the attempt, still, to meet, to somehow connect.
     
  7. mike bauer

    mike bauer Well-Known Member

    sounds crippling. you went a little shot-gun on the writing of it. each stanza carries too much pain to connect with the rest of it in any way other than joining as a mob and storming the Bastille.

    vive la france.
     
  8. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

    I love and respect the subject of this poem, but also disagree with him on everything. We learned that respect over years of trial and error. The riddle terrified me. I thought we were going to lose that connection.
     
    Mary McCarthy likes this.
  9. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member


    Hey Mike. Yeah This was painful but cathartic. The weight it took from me was hard to carry around. But it was also really just one of those pieces that came as it came. I didn't really have any formatting changes. I know it's a departure.
     
    mike bauer likes this.
  10. mike bauer

    mike bauer Well-Known Member

    yeah, i got that totally, but i care enough to crit the very best.

    you know, w.s. auden turned away from lyrical poetry  when he became a commie. commies don't like homos -- we're a "bourgeois sickness". i think he thought showing any rhythm was to give himself away. being a red he became an honorary straight, and ever after his stuff was just a list of straight propaganda with funny line breaks. like, how do factualists, the 'write like the grammar book' types, justify writing free verse? what could the arbitrary line breaks mean for them? whereas, for us, the linebreaks are a punctuation and a musical notation.
     
  11. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

    Crit the best? Man that's some high praise Mike. Thank you for it. :D

    Your insight in these matters is always interesting. I never knew that about Auden, whose work I did notice the shift in.
     
    mike bauer likes this.
  12. mike bauer

    mike bauer Well-Known Member

    ok, and what's worse about auden is that he came to Yale after the war, and w.s. merwin was his puppy-dog host, and, later, merwin became very influential in american publishing. like, influencing what went into magazines, influential.

    my feeling is that poetry is lyrical, and these guys made poetry safe for the quick smart prose reader.
     
  13. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

    I hear that! I always try to be as lyrical as possible, but the last two pieces I posted are very plain English. While I like them, it might be time to write in the "crescent colorless".
     
    mike bauer likes this.
  14. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

  15. Jan Harper

    Jan Harper Well-Known Member

    in my opinion, James, the voice of the poem determines the style of language and overall presentation, and this piece works because the plain language doesn't get in the way. it came very close to disappearing, becoming pure image/scent/sound/emotional tension. it could well be rewritten a whole other way, but then i believe it would be a different poem.
     
    James Spears and mike bauer like this.
  16. Michael Ashley

    Michael Ashley Fuckwit Extraordinaire

    I like this but can’t make myself press the like button that might put this poem in a shit cycle of over 1000poems that you might one day see at the top of the screen... if you’re lucky. Muy bien
     
  17. James Spears

    James Spears Well-Known Member

    @Jan Harper - That's definitely true. I guess what I was trying to say was that I am rarely so plain-spoken and the departure of the last two pieces was so I could put my emotion in it without getting weepy.

    @Michael Ashley  Thanks for reading. :D Not in it for the "likes" brother, same as Facebook. I'm in it to take criticism and improve my work. Sometimes I dig the ego stroke, but it isn't needed, as I stroke myself enough.

    Why is everyone looking at me that way? :clown::clown: something i said?
     
    Michael Ashley likes this.
  18. Jan Harper

    Jan Harper Well-Known Member

    :idk::shock::punish::wink2: