Tennessee Williams

Brutal Desire,
that rattle-trap streetcar
banging through the Quarter,
up one narrow street
and down another.
They told me, Take a streetcar named Desire,
then transfer to the one called Cemetery,
ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields.

But how about cutting the re-bop?

I feel like a cat on a hot tin roof.

We all live in a house on fire.
Time rushes toward us with its hospital tray
of infinitely varied narcotics,
even while it prepares us for
the fatal operation.

Luxury is the wolf at the door.
Rhinestones are next door to glass.
A high station in life is earned by
the gallantry with which
appalling experiences are survived with grace.

Oh, you beautiful, weak people
who give up with such grace.
Grown-ups don’t hang up on life!
Life is no damn football game.
Life isn’t just a bunch of high spots.
To be free is to have achieved your life.
You got pain, at least
you know you are alive.

I tell what ought to be truth.
Nothing is more powerful
than the odor of mendacity!
Mendacity’s a system that we live in.
Liquor’s one way out and death’s the other.
And booze goes fast in hot weather.
Truth is the one thing
I never have resisted.

But all cruel people describe themselves
as paragons of frankness.

Oh look, we have created enchantment!
And you?
You’re gonna miss me.

 

                                    From the words of Tennessee Williams

Linda Frye Burnham 2012

t williams

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