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Category archive for: Randall Mann

Horizon

Joyless,

devotedly boyless.

Everything,

the way

nothing is.

The point is this:

make

me less

than the lake

in the sheets.

The horizon

just above sex:

my thoughts

and prayers—

spots

and short hairs.

My itch;

my side-stitch.

Every day

can’t

be lament.

An excuse

to lose

my shirt

for charity.

I feel,

if not real,

neon-real.

Sterile as hurt,

or parity.

from ProprietaryFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Proprietary

In a precisely lighted room, the CFO speaks

of start-to-start dependencies.

Says let me loop back with you.

Says please cascade as appropriate.

It’s that time of morning; we all can smell

the doughnut factory. If scent were white

noise, doughnuts would be that scent.

The factory won’t sell at any price.

The building next to it burns the animals

we experiment on. I have worked

on a few preclinical reports in my time.

The rhesus monkeys become

so desperate that they attempt suicide,

over and over again. I am legally obligated

to spare you the particulars.

How could things be any different?

Here many choice molecules have been born.

Here. This pill will dissolve like sugar.

Your last five months will be good ones.

from ProprietaryFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Gainesville

When it started, I had been in Gainesville for three days.

They called him the Gainesville Ripper, which sounds comical, all but the ripping.

His name was Danny Harold Rolling. It was August 1990.

Five of them were slaughtered.

I spent evenings huddled in the dorm rooms of my girlfriends.

There were lots of p-words tossed around, don’t be a pussy, say a prayer.

When he was convicted, they sent him to Starke. What a name for a town.

One drove slowly through Starke, a notoriously student-unfriendly place.

Whites were all right to stop there.

Rolling had lobster tail before the injection, an excellent if slightly clichéd choice.

Red Lobster on Newberry Road was relatively fine dining. I spent much of the nineties in Gainesville.

Got two degrees and STDs in Gainesville.

“The nineties sucked,” Marisa Tomei and Mickey Rourke declared in that ragged film The Wrestler.

No shit.

The nineties sucked, for me, in Gainesville.

There was the gay bar, the University Club, where I wore my J-Crew shirt, the Evil Flannel, where I danced and swallowed whatever the fuck.

We dropped Blue Monkey and stood on the balcony in the rainstorm.

I was the shirtless teeth-grinder in the corner with the lizard.

I was the tweaky late-night stroll by the green power plant.

I was the kid in the stacks of Smathers Library falling hopelessly in love with the poems of Donald Justice.

I fell in love, or what felt like love.

With gin.

With Salems. With a boy.

We moved downtown.

We moved into a two-part apartment complex, one blue, one pink.

We had a wedding, in 1993, and my parents came, and they stopped at Publix on the way and got a couple party platters.

The wedding was in our pink apartment.

Michael Hofmann, who lived in the blue, described it as “live-oaks and love-seats, handymen and squirrels, / an electric grille and a siege mentality.”

An alligator crawled out of Lake Alice and ate a little dog on a leash, said the Gainesville Sun.

I walked on Payne’s Prairie with Debora Greger, in winter, and imagined King Payne, the nineteenth-century Seminole Chief, on a white horse.

The egrets were white. The heron was blue.

I narrowly escaped the controlled burn.

from ProprietaryFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Nothing

My mother is scared of the world.

She left my father after forty years.

She was like, Happy anniversary, goodbye;

I respect that.

The moon tonight is dazzling, is full

of itself if not quite full.

A man should not love the moon, said Miłosz.

Not exactly. He translated himself

as saying it. A man should not love translation;

there’s so much I can’t know. An hour ago,

marking time with someone I would like to like,

we passed some trees and there were crickets

(crickets!) chirping right off Divisadero.

I touched his hand, and for a cold moment

I was like a child again,

nothing more, nothing less.

from ProprietaryFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

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