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  • Anguish



    In memory of Franz Wright


    We have no right to complain
    We have no right to ask for anything
    We are just here
    We are all just drunk
    Unwell in our shabby clothes
    Spiritual gloom

    While the laggard moon confesses its sin
    Of Acedia
    About its source of reflected Light
    Unmasked
    By Anaxagoras
    Who taught that the Sun was a red-hot stone
    He was imprisoned for claiming
    The Sun was not a god

    We are all future ghosts
    Asleep at the wheel
    Drunk
    As a skunk

    No solace
    No comfort
    No shelter in words

    We flap about
    Like bewildered fish
    Out of water looking up at the stars
    In sidereal time
    And no gods hear us




  • #2
    ‘We are just here’. Well, that we are. And rather than complain we should do. Thank you for the wonderful introduction to another, to me, unknown, Tanner!

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    • #3
      For me, the unrelenting bleakness - beautifully wrought, by the way - is given a little mordant spark of warmth by the (intentional?) humour - and pathos - of the third stanza. I find the notion of future ghosts destined for some dreadful metaphorical car accident 'drunk as a skunk' to be grotesquely charming. The extravagant futility of that afterlife image is so over-the-top that it inspires a paradoxical hope in me.

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      • #4
        Muttado1sb and Grant, thank you for your visit and comments. I just discovered Franz Wright and ordered 3 of his books. He and his father James Wright are the only father and son poets in the USA to have both won the Pulitzer Prize. Franz writes in very thin lines. One of his books is entitled, "God's Silence" - a topic dear to my heart. I am holding off reading it, and trying to discipline myself into reading the books I have of his in the order that they were written.

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        • grant hayes
          grant hayes commented
          Editing a comment
          I have had a look at Franz Wright, of whom I had not heard before your mention of him here, and there are a few pieces of his that I find affecting, others pass me by unremarkably. My impression is that your published and awarded work is easily more interesting, and he a Pulitzer Prize winner. It's strange, the way things turn out.

      • #5
        Tanner this is a lovely write and here bleak an d beauty combine well with some interesting thoughts

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        • #6
          Grant, I know what you mean by Franz's poems at times. They seem offhand and oblique. You more than make me blush with your Pulitzer Prize comment. I think there is a culture of academics and insiders who control the major awards in Poetry in the USA. Poets are being groomed through a variety of university writing programs and grants. They are now giving a lot of special awards to poets who capitalize on their third world life experiences or refugee status from war-torn countries et al and write "theme" oriented books.

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          • grant hayes
            grant hayes commented
            Editing a comment
            I hear you, Tanner. It seems like a charmed circle, that place of poetical note. It is the same here in the Anglosphere's fundament. Having the right sort of political-social outlook, and, as you observe, backstory, seem to be decisive factors in one's eligibility for the poetical firmament du jour. It is difficult to work out whether one's rejection by the charmed circle is due to striking the wrong pose, or simply because one's work is actually crap. In any case, I can't pronounce shibboleth properly.

        • #7
          Tanner, you’re a master storyteller. Beautiful writing! Thank you for sharing!

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          • #8
            This is an artful elucidation of mortality.
            Darkly poetic.

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