a coarse man

A Coarse Man
Terry Roberts 10.1992

There are those who
	perceive me as a coarse man

Seeing this coarseness as
	a danger somehow, like a sharp edge
	coarse like sandpaper, or a rasp
	coarse like something used
to cut or shape or hurt
	other things or

Others see this coarseness as
	a certain naturalness of the
	a diamond in the rough
	wood to be hewn into planks
	sand to be heated to glass
	the coarseness of the incomplete
		            of the unfinished
				of the lower classes

Others see the coarseness as
	just me
	my nature, my skin
	the bark of my tree
	the face of my cliff
	the voice of my suffering
	the laugh of my  humor
As the coarse tree arising from coarse earth
Rough like the hide of a cow or the texture of 
	a city sidewalk

I suppose I can be coarse in expression
	but certainly not an implement
		like a file or a rasp

Nor incomplete
	no more incomplete than an unpolished diamond
	the polish is for someone else's vanity
		not the diamonds

I am coarse like the bark of a tree
	After all
		I am not the product of a lumber mill
			no smooth board am I
		Nor the output of a glass factory
			smooth and transparent
					with no facets
		Nor for that matter
			the product of social  conditioning
		I remain uncertified
			No agency of culture or state has
			my acceptability, has guaranteed my
				completeness, my shine
			There really is no one thing to point to
			   that guarantees I am even civilized
				not a shred of verifiable smoothness

And how quickly some can take notice of my coarseness
	and mistake it for a form lower than they
	and miss the complexity of texture, richness of color
			vitality of life
				truth of passion

They who fear the rough and irregular shape of life
	are usually attracted to the
		polished surfaces of fear

I am a coarse man to some
It makes me sad
	to be so judged for
		what the weather has done to me

But in my coarseness I find much that I like
	and have to good fortune to know forms
		thought as low as I
Proud to never look down on another
			I stand quite tall

'cept I cannot stand the pompous
	the sheen of produced facades
		the deadliness of games of control
					the projections of fear
the coldness of the closed heart

ahh judgements

But don't frighten any soul
	with coarseness
		don't appeal to fearful fragility
Just do it for fun
	after all
		being coarse was one of the few real pleasures
					left to the working class

I prefer dignity
	it lends elegance 
		the hands of the peasant