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13 March 2012

I am not even faintly like a rose

I am not even faintly like a rose.
I wasn’t even vaguely engaged.
I have been drunk just twice in my life.
I was standing beside his bed.
I was lying half asleep in the cold lower level
of the Pennsylvania Station.
I had been actually invited.
Most of the time I worked.
I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes.
I wasn’t actually in love.
I felt a sort of tender curiosity.
I am one of the few honest people
that I have ever known.
I was more annoyed than interested.
I don’t believe they heard a sound.
I stayed late that night.
I was reminded of something.
I wanted to get up and slap him on the back.
I was tempted to laugh whenever he opened his mouth.
I just remembered that today’s my birthday.
I was feeling a little sick and
I wanted to be alone.
I walked away and left him standing there.
I couldn’t sleep all night.
I didn’t want to go to the city.
I thanked him for his hospitality.
I wanted to get somebody for him.
I’m five years too old to lie to myself
and call it honor.
I turned away.
I went over.
I erased it.
There was nothing I could say.
I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world.

Nick Carraway's confessions, in chronological order as they appear in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby (1924). Submitted by Gary.


Domenico Petrillo said...

Wonderfully reflective and real! Thank you Gary! Keep at it!! -Domenico

Leeza said...

I never heard of a verbatim poem before this moment. How intriguing. I like the concept and this exemplary example. Thank you for the enjoyment and the lesson.

spacedlaw said...


S.E.Ingraham said...

What a great idea Gary! Using all of Nick's confessions, when there were so works very well.