By Randall Mann Randall Mann
has crawled out of the ocean   
to carry us from sleep, like sleep,   

the gray of outer Sunset portending   
the gray of inner Sunset. And so on.   

On the N, one should invent   
intricate fictions for the lives   

of the passengers: time is a game.   
Soon we will be underground.   

But first, the long lush green   
of Duboce Park, the happiness of dogs!   

Good-bye now to their owners   
eyeing one another. Good-bye   

to the park's locked men's room,   
where once a man was found dead,   

his penis shoved into his own mouth.   
The world continues, the engine   

of the world the letter N.

Source: Poetry (December 2003).


This poem originally appeared in the December 2003 issue of Poetry magazine

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December 2003
 Randall  Mann


Randall Mann’s poems are often set within the landscape of Florida or California. Influenced by Philip Larkin, Elizabeth Bishop, and Donald Justice, Mann’s poetry—at once vulnerable, unflinching, and brave in its ambivalence—explores themes of loss, attraction, brutality, and expectation. Of his preference for working in form, Mann says, “Form helps me approach more comfortably the personal, helps me harden argument.”

Mann is . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries, Landscapes & Pastorals, Nature


Poetic Terms Imagery, Allusion

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