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Man of Feeling
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This morning my heart goes out to pines
punctured and slung with hammocks
in leisure’s name, to the redbird
with bandit mask, accused of every crime.
I feel bonded all at once to dogs
on chains, reciting prison
diaries as I pass; suddenly I open
to the possum, ugly as the trash it picks.
Soon I will return to selfish queries:
What trophies have I stowed in cabinets?
How many rivers forked at my birth?
But today I want to harry vapid
questions—as smaller, quicker birds
do hawks and crows—to be overcome
by clotheslines pinned with cast-off
selves, my mouth blowing ovals of awe.
For years I could not care less
that the turtle and armadillo carry
caskets on their backs the span
of their lives, that the spider quilts
in a solitude so consuming it devours
what guests drop by. Yet warmth has found
an entrance, or picked some shackle inside,
and I even feel for kudzu, choking all.
Earlier this summer, without a qualm,
I bagged and dragged to the curb
a goose found floating in the boat slip,
made crude by some Evinrude or Merc.
But now as the sun bobs up, I might be
an earl in the Age of Reason, so completely
have I fallen under sympathy’s sway.
I hum in chorus with the mournful woodwinds
of rotted elms. And face with desperate
affection the stucco homes—guarded,
blank—like the man I was just yesterday,
who welcomes, least of any, my embrace.

Gregory Fraser  

Gregory Fraser is the author of three poetry collections: Strange Pietà (Texas Tech UP, 2003), Answering the Ruins (Northwestern UP, 2009), and Designed for Flight (forthcoming from Northwestern in Spring 2014). He is also the coauthor, with Chad Davidson, of the workshop textbook Writing Poetry: Creative and Critical Approaches (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2008) and the composition textbook Analyze Anything: A Guide to Critical Reading and Writing (Continuum-Bloomsbury, 2012). His poetry has appeared in journals including The Paris Review, The Southern Review, and The Gettysburg Review. The recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fraser serves as professor of English at the University of West Georgia.

Copyright © 2014 University of Tampa Press
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Gregory Fraser. "Man of Feeling." Tampa Review 47.1 (2014): 50-50. Project MUSE. Web. 25 Apr. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Fraser, G.(2014). Man of Feeling. Tampa Review 47(1), 50. University of Tampa Press. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Gregory Fraser. "Man of Feeling." Tampa Review 47, no. 1 (2014): 50-50. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed April 25, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - Man of Feeling
A1 - Gregory Fraser
JF - Tampa Review
VL - 47
IS - 1
SP - 50
EP - 50
PY - 2014
PB - University of Tampa Press
SN - 2326-4101
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tampa_review/v047/47.fraser.html
N1 - 47/48, 2014
ER -

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