Breakfast with Thom Gunn
Those who lack a talent for love have come
to walk the long Pier 7. Here at the end
of the imagined world are three low-flying gulls
like lies on the surface; the slow red
of a pilot’s boat; the groan
of a fisherman hacking a small shark—
and our speech like the icy water, a poor
translation that will not carry us across.
What brought us west, anyway? A hung
Randall Mann, whose debut collection Complaint in the Garden earned raves and was winner of the Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry, has returned with Breakfast with Thom Gunn, a recent Lammy finalist.
Mann, like the iconic poet he references in his title piece, impresses with his subtle yet confident use of formal structures like sonnets, sestinas, and pantoums. Also like the late Thom Gunn, Mann brings gravitas and pathos to the sometimes mundane-seeming aspects gay li ...more
Enjoy the masquerade here because it deftly hides and reveals and reveals its hiding and hides its revealing and such play usually gets my hackles up, but he succeeds where others annoy. In an interview, Mann said that poetry both "distills" and "embellishes." This collection retains that edge. Check out the full interview here: http://nelsonpoetry.blogspot.com/2011...
Another Saturday, and the straights
and amateurs will come to my ghetto tonight.
Suspension of rights for all, I say.
That's funny. A lot of the poems in this book are really funny, if a bit macabre at the same time. Also, this book has the best cover of all time.