Monday, February 19, 2007

Never Give Up

Anger by Stephen Dunn

A good thing, the experts say, the getting it out. I know they're right. The few big times I've exhibited it, I felt spent and righteously clean. A grudge is more my style, weeks, months of resentment silently borne. At my worst, after quarrels, I've kept it in and let it mix with any old bitterness it could find. When it finally emerged—stunted, timed, cruelly calm—I was no one's decent man. But I'm seldom at my worst and can only envy the brilliantly angry in books and in films. I can't bear anyone routinely angry, anyone with a childhood untamed. In truth, I prefer the manners of those who keep most things to themselves. We're unable to entertain opposites when we're angry. We're so bloody dull. Everything I love about the mind disappears. I choose my friends by the quality of their hesitations, their ability to be ambivalent about the smallest things. Harm anyone I love, though, and I'll seek you out and break you fucking in two. I'd at least want to. I'd certainly understand anyone who would.

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