The Best Poets: Hear From Lambda's Nominees

The Advocate asked each nominated poet and poetry editor from this year's Lambda Literary Awards to submit one from their collection.

BY Daniel Reynolds

March 31 2014 6:31 AM ET

From Straight Razor by Randall Mann

September Elegies

in memory of Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Billy Lucas, and Tyler Clementi

There are those who suffer in plain sight,
there are those who suffer in private.
Nothing but secondhand details:
a last shower, a request for a pen, a tall red oak.

There are those who suffer in private.
The one in Tehachapi, aged 13.
A last shower, a request for a pen, a tall red oak:
he had had enough torment, so he hanged himself.

The one in Tehachapi, aged 13;
the one in Cooks Head, aged 15:
he had had enough torment, so he hanged himself.
He was found by his mother.

The one in Cooks Head, aged 15.
The one in Greensburg, aged 15:
he was found by his mother.
"I love my horses, my club lambs. They are the world to me,"

the one in Greensburg, aged 15,
posted on his profile.
"I love my horses, my club lambs. They are the world to me."
The words turn and turn on themselves.

Posted on his profile,
"Jumping off the gw bridge sorry":
the words turn, and turn on themselves,
like the one in New Brunswick, aged 18.

Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.
There are those who suffer in plain sight
like the one in New Brunswick, aged 18.
Nothing but secondhand details.

--

Excerpted from Straight Razor by Randall Mann with permission from Persea Books. Copyright 2013.

Randall Mann is the author of three collections of poetry: Straight Razor, Breakfast with Thom Gunn, and Complaint in the Garden. He is shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award and winner of the Kenyon Review Prize.  He received the 2013 J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize from Poetry magazine. His poems and prose appear in The Washington Post, The Paris Review, PoetryThe Kenyon Review, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.  He lives in San Francisco.

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