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snagged from exceptindreams's daily poetry post because I like it

Life Story
     Tennessee Williams

After you've been to bed together for the first time,
without the advantage or disadvantage of any prior acquaintance,
the other party very often says to you,
Tell me about yourself, I want to know all about you,
what's your story? And you think maybe they really and truly do

sincerely want to know your life story, and so you light up
a cigarette and begin to tell it to them, the two of you
lying together in completely relaxed positions
like a pair of rag dolls a bored child dropped on a bed.

You tell them your story, or as much of your story
as time or a fair degree of prudence allows, and they say,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, until the oh
is just an audible breath, and then of course

there's some interruption. Slow room service comes up
with a bowl of melting ice cubes, or one of you rises to pee
and gaze at himself with the mild astonishment in the bathroom mirror.
And then, the first thing you know, before you've had time
to pick up where you left off with your enthralling life story,
they're telling you their life story, exactly as they'd intended to all along,

and you're saying, Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh,
each time a little more faintly, the vowel at last becoming
no more than an audible sigh,
as the elevator, halfway down the corridor and a turn to the left,
draws one last, long, deep breath of exhaustion
and stops breathing forever. Then?

Well, one of you falls asleep
and the other one does likewise with a lighted cigarette in his mouth,
and that's how people burn to death in hotel rooms.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
flashfly
Aug. 29th, 2011 06:43 am (UTC)
I liked it.
gaeln
Aug. 29th, 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
I'm glad and your icon is perfect, although I am glad that's not how their story ended, at least not the way most people have written it :D
flashfly
Aug. 30th, 2011 03:33 am (UTC)
Tennessee and who? Autobiographical? I just want to be in a hotel room smoking in bed - right now, it seems like the height of glamour.
gaeln
Aug. 30th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
'Tennessee and who?'
James Dean??!!?? I bet autobiographical and probably pretty glamorous too.
flashfly
Sep. 5th, 2011 04:46 pm (UTC)
James Dean. Only this past year, have I finally watched any movies with him. I watched Rebel and East of Eden. I was mesmerized. I need to watch Giant next and anything else he did. In East of Eden, the camera lingered on his ass in tight white trousers and i read that the director, Elia Kazan (?) had discovered him on Broadway playing a gay character.
gaeln
Sep. 5th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
there are lingering questions, I guess, about Dean, I'm thinking bi, but who knows? I had read about rumors about him and Williams though so... And once you've watched Giant, you will have watched all his films, there are, sadly, only the three.

You know those tight white trouser of his must have been made from gabardine, so soft to the touch.
flashfly
Sep. 6th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
Brian as Dean?
gaeln
Sep. 6th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
genius, seriously. You should write it.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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