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Additional resources for Breakfast with Thom Gunn (Phoenix Poets Series)
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.
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. There are warnings everywhere, what passes for warning: kelp like dead sea creatures, ropy tails and flies; the dog stalking the crow. , the foggy pull of the tide toward the belated, the false, the near tears. Beauty lies, lies in unbeauty. • 51 • Tr a n s l a t i o n In the half-mist of Golden Gate Park, new friends of friends, barely legal, swig malt liquor, and I confuse The Shins with Death Cab for Cutie (the kids snicker, fiercely; I admire that).
There’s nothing left to be said. • 35 • Breakfast with Thom Gunn in memory, 1929–2004 We choose a cheap hotel because they’re serving drinks. We drink. I hear him tell a tale or two: he thinks that so-and-so’s a sleaze; and then there was the time that Milosz phoned, oh please. Another gin with lime? I want to say that once, I saw him dressed in leather, leaning on a fence inside a bar. Rather, walking to the N, I gush about his books; he gives his change to men who’ve lost their homes and looks: how like him, I’ve been told.