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Ray Analysis

Author: Poetry of Hayden Carruth Type: Poetry Views: 286

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How many guys are sitting at their kitchen tablesright now, one-thirty in the morning, this same

time, eating a piece of pie? - that's what Iwondered.A big piece of pie, because I'd just

finished reading Ray's last book.Not good pie,not like my mother or my wife could've

made, but an ordinary pie I'd just bought, beingalone, at the Tops Market two hours ago.And how

many had water in their eyes?Because of Ray'sbook and especially those last poems written

after he knew:the one about the doctor tellinghim, the one where he and Tess go down to

Reno to get married before it happens and shootsome craps on the dark baize tables, the one

called "After-Glow" about the little light in thesky after the sun sets.I can just hear him,

if he were still here and this were somebodyelse's book, saying, "Jesus," saying, "This

is the saddest son of a bitch of a book I'veread in a long time," saying, "A real long time."

And the thing is, he knew we'd be saying thisabout his book, he could just hear us saying it,

and in some part of him he was glad!Hereally was.What crazies we writers are

our heads full of language like buckets of minnowsstanding in the moonlight on a dock.Ray

was a good writer, a wonderful writer, and hispoems are good, most of them and they made me

cry, there at my kitchen table with my head down,me, a sixty-seven-year-old galoot, an old fool

because all old men are fools, they have to be,shoveling big jagged chunks of that ordinary pie

into my mouth, and the water falling from my eyesonto the pie, the plate, my hand, little speckles

shining in the light, brightening the colors, and Iate that goddamn pie, and it tasted good to me.


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