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May 11, 1940 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1940-05-11

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Pale Mine

JLO ,:. Ai i' T! JE,7, k.77 -4 - ws ..

(Continued from Pa

his mother said. She glan
dining room. 'You ate y
"Yeah, thanks Mom."
swallowing the rest of th
could still taste the egg.
"You needs lots of foo
"You haven't been gaining
.if only I could do some
dad and I are worried."
"Don't worry," he said.
much here 'cause I'm eatin
I'm oot someplace."
The coffee was ready, a
a cup in to the table and.
realised that he didn't kn
it was. "Where's paper,
called. He found the pap
ing room and opened it1
page. While he read un
strips of cartoons his mot
and stood beside him. Hi
and patted her on the bac:
practised smile. She ran
through his hair, pushing
his head.
"If you want anything
said, and went back out o
Sean drank the coffee t
he got up from the table a
the lining room. He picked
zine and put it down again
his cigarette into a cleanf
stared down at the black c
white stub alone in the m
clean glass. He looked arou
As he went out, his fath
the darkness of the swing,
money, son?"
"No, I got plenty, dad.'
to go down the front steps
stood up and came overt
"Well just in case," he s
a wadded bill into Sean's
"I don't need it, dad. Ho]
goin' anyplace. Just bumm
"'S all right. Get your
You haven't had a date. Y
the car."
"Aw hell, dad. Thanks,
kids are married or goin'

just gonna shoot a little poo, ' then
come home. Here. I don't need this
(3) dough." Sean felt like such a heel. He
had let them down so hard. He was
~IN so goddam worthless.
"Take it," his dad said, giving him
Lge Five) a shove. "Take it while you can get
it." He walked back to the swing. Sean
reached out to give back the bill, then
went on down the steps, holding the
money in his hand. "Thanks, dad," he
iced in to the called back. "I'll be home early." He
'our egg." walked up the street.
He finished Under the streetlight he looked down
e water. He at the money. It was a dollar bill, dirty
so he lit a and limp. He shoved it in his pocket,
and walked along. He wished, he had
)d," she said, guts enough to go on the bum, to take
at all. Sean, the load off his folks. He was a para-
thing. Your site. He would spend the dollar. He
spent all of them.
"I don't eat A date. There was a full moon. He'd
.g all the time like to have a date. It was the kind of
a night when he liked to be parked
nd he carried somewhere in a car. Maybe he should
sat down. He have taken the car.
ow what day But his dad didn't know. It didn't
Mom?" he mean the same thing it used to when
er in the liv- Sean was in high school, having a date.
to the comic It used to mean calling up a girl he saw
smilingly the every day, and saying how about going
ther came in to a show. Those were all gone, they
e reached up had got married while he was away at
k, smiling his school, or they didn't remember him,
her fingers or they couldn't make it on such short
it back on notice. A date now was picking up some-
body in a beer garden, and going to
call me," she more beer gardens, having enough mon-
in the porch. ey to get the strange, shrill voiced girl
oo hot. Then drunk, and then taking her out in the
nd went into car and trying to lay her, and oh god,
I up a maga having her expect him to try to lay her.
. He ground That wasn't what his dad meant when
ash tray. He he said get a date. If he could just be
har, the bent a decent son, if he could stay home, and
piddle of the be clean, even that would help. But
nd the room, he was no good at all. He was a coward,
er said from and he was no good, cracking dirty
"Need some when he was with the boys, trying to be
a nice kid when he was home.

holding it now between his thumb and
second finger, blowing smoke out
through his nose. He made remarks
when one of the boys missed a shot. He
watched a younger kid trying to shoot
with a cigarette in his mouth, the smoke
curling up in his eyes. He smiled sar-
donically as the kid missed. He talked
tough, and smoked one cigarette after
another, and his stomach felt raw. The
blue smoke curled under the low lights
hanging over the table. Loud talk, the
click of hard hit pool balls, the sound
of bowling and shouting, swearing, the
screeching laughter of women, and sud-
denly Sean found himself thinking
about the folks at home, sitting there
quietly on the swing, worrying about
him, talking in low, puzzled tones about
what they could do for him. They loved
him so much, they had tied their lives
to his, believed in him. And what did
he give in return?
Sean turned from the table and walk-
ed away. He heard the boys yell that
' he could play in a minute, but he kept
going. He dropped his cigarette in a
spitoon around which lay many cigar-
ette and cigar butts. The boys would
think he was sore. Well, what the hell
did he care what they thought?
Outside the poolroom the air was
cleaner. Sean turned first toward home.
Then he stopped, and looked at washing
machines in a store window while he
thought. What could he do at home?
He'd go crazy just hanging around the
house all night. He'd get silent and
surly, he couldn't keep up the act for
his folks that long. Oh, Jesus, some-
place to go, someplace decent, a girl's
house, or some friends who liked to sit
around and talk. Any place that was
quiet, only not home, not yet.
Home and sit in an easy chair and
stare at the floor, seeing failure, seeing
worried looks hastily hidden when he
looked up, hearing anxious attempts to
snap him out of the blues, falsely gay
conversation, the radio turned on to
some blatting cacaphony dance band,
seeing behind it all the disappointment,
the unadmitted lost, puzzled feeling of
the two of them. Or trying to read, see-
ing the type blur and change to an un-
concerned professor's face, the mouth
moving, saying "-who come here ex-
pecting not to work, making their par-
ents undergo sacrifices-"-Oh, Christ,
oh Christ-no!
But yes, Sean, Remember the times
(Continued on Page Ten)

(Continued from Page Three)
problems of form and style. They have
assumed that to be unrestrained is to
be revolutionary. They have assumed
poetic significance to be a simple ex-
tension of social significance. Their
views are as narrow in every respect, as
those of Ruskin in the nineteenth cen-
tury. They have not yet gone so far as
to set up a proletarian style, but have
assumed that the matter will dictate the
style. This is, of course, true, but a
poet writing about a woman screaming
does something more and something
less than scream himself. Fearing's
style is as private acd esoteric a thing
as that of any of the so-called "de-
cadent" poets that these critics rush to
condemn. His Symbolist technique is
still Symbolist despite its new weight of
public matter. All of this of course is
not so much a condemnatoin per se of
Fearing as of his friends. Symbolism
has left its considerable mark on the
poetry of the last two decades, has be-.
come a valuable part of the inheritance
of the poets writing in the' preseat day.
But a style can be completely separ-
ated from the matter that it bears, and
Symbolism was the language of com-
pletely private emotion. For a soeial
poet to swallow it piecemeal, as Fearing
has done, is to risk disaster. Symbol'
ism destroyed old restraints, but it cre-
ated the new ones of the complete sub-
jectivism. Fearing, in adopting it,
adopted neither the old nor the new
disciplines. As has already been noted,
Fearing is himself beginning to be aware
of this. But the poet that we now have,
although his insights into the dynamics
of modern society are often profound,
is never quite sure what is form and
what is matter. Fearing is not so con-
tent as he once was to simply record
the sensational and superficial aspects
of the society in which he lives. He has
moved much nearer its heart. But as
a poet he still has far to go. He has
the matter, the form is still to come.

He started
s. His father
to him.
aid, and put
nest. I'm not
sin' around."
self a date.
ou can have
but all the
steady, m

A BOWLING LEAGUE was knocking
down the echoing pins, and shout-
ing as men made strikes, and standing
around drinking beer, names of stores
or factories sewn in blue thread on their
sweat stained shirts. Over at the snook-
er table the boys saw him, and said
"You're in the next game, husky," and
Sean said "All right, you goddam nigger
lovers," and leaned against another
table to watch. He smoked a cigarette,


Continued from Page Eight

more valuable service for our nation
than we could by sinking a hundred
times as our comrades did today? You
did not see it; you did not see the oily,
smoke billowing out over the horizon
like unclean, black toadstools. You
could not imagine roaring flames burst-
ing out of the guts of those ships, melt-
ing the decks, frying the crew into
cinders before your eyes. But if you had
to shovel coal like a demon in the bowels
of your ship,,'with shattered steam lines
spraying hot vapor over your bare back
like rain and sea water pouring in
through smashed plates up to your
knees, then, before. God -you dog! you
would well wish you were on my island,
taking your ease in the warm heat of
the noonday sun beneath the shade of
the royal palms. What end do you
think the naval vessels of Spain are
destined for other than destruction?
Leave my quarters! Leave my cabin
before I lose my temper."
The man hurried out, cowed, and
Suarez, his face working, continued to
pace wildly in his cabin, After a brief
time he calmed sufficiently to call Lieu-
tenant Morales to- his quarters.
Commander Suarez resigned to him
command of the destroyer and turned
over all official documens and orders

in his possession. He asked permission
to retain his cabin until the vessel
reached Havana, and asked that his
word might be accepted in exchange for
his parole. The Lieutenant, shocked by
the train of events of the day, remon-
strated with him strongly. He feared
that the heat, the excitement of their
voyage, and the morning's battle had
left his superior temporarily mentally
deranged. Still, Suarez was not a man
to make a rash statement ordinarily,
and what he had proposed for the ship
was indeed monstrous. On second
thought, it was not proper that one
who held such traitorous thoughts and
who also was afraid to risk his vessel
in battle should hold a command under
the Spanish Queen. Morales accepted
command and left to inforn the officers
of the change. It should be kept from
he men; the Commander would keep
to his cabin and for al lthey knew do
so because of illness. His spirits lifted
to think that'he was actually in com-
mand of this fine new vessel. The Lieu-
tenant mounted buoyantly to the bridge.
The Fernando Luis steamed in toward
Havana late in the afternoon of July 5,
and waited outside of the mine fields
to pick up a 'pilot. He came out in a
small dirty sloop and clambered slowly

up the short Jacob's ladder that had
been lowered over the side for his con-
venience. He was a small, swarthy half-
caste with a curiously pale face for so
warm a climate. There was a strong
odor of rum about his crumpled white
linen clothing, but he seemed to be in
possession of his faculties and to know
his business. Lieutenant Morales, with
disdain, assumed a position on the wind-
ward side of the bridge behind the grey-
painted canvas dodger.
After proceeding a few ship's lengths
into the mine field, the ragged half-
caste gave a low groan and dropped
limply to the deck. His arms and legs
twitched convulsively and silver froth
foamed at his mouth. He bit at the
wooden deck. The dirty bastard must be
an epileptic, Morales thought in quick
horror. He stopped the engines hurriedly
and snapped at the bridge messenger
to bring Comander Suarez on deck at
once. It would be madness to attempt
to run the destroyer in through the
mines without knowing the positions
of the fields. If their hull completed
contact with one of the mines, none of
them would live to see Spain again.
On either side of the destroyer, the
bulbous shapes of anchored steel tor-
pedoes glinted in the sunlight filtered

down through the turgid green water.
They swayed gently back and forth in
the eddies caused by the ship's bow
wave and the Lieutenant stared at them
in fascination from the bridge. The
men on the deck up forward near the
anchor winch looked back at him en-
quiringly. A small cross current of air
snagged on the ship's lean grey hull
and she began to drift toward the
mines on the port side of the vessel.
In quick terror of being blown onto
the mines by the wind, Morales rang
for slow speed ahead on the engine
room telegraph.
Seven bells struck somewhere in the
ship and down in his cabin Commander
Suarez started to wind his old'fashion-
ed gold watch. Through the porthole
he could see the green tile roofs and the
yellow stucco houses of Havana across
the harbor water. Very pretty. It was
beastly stuffy in his cabin, though. The
Commander sighed. resignedly.
There was the sound of running boots
on the wooden deck outside, and from
the bridge Morales' voice bawled an
order. A seaman's voice excitedly
"The Lieutenant presents his com-
pliments, sir and begs your presence
on the bridge at- once."

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