Saturday, February 11, 2012


There are people who do not see a broken playground swing
as a symbol of ruined childhood
and there are people who don't interpret the behavior
of a fly in a motel room as a mocking representation of their thought process.
There are people who don't walk past an empty swimming pool
and think about past pleasures unrecoverable
and then stand there blocking the sidewalk for other pedestrians.

I have read about a town somewhere in California where human beings
do not send their sinuous feeder roots
deep into the potting soil of others' emotional lives
as if they were greedy six-year-olds
sucking the last half-inch of milkshake up through a noisy straw;
and other persons in the Midwest who can kiss without
debating the imperialist baggage of heterosexuality.

Do you see that creamy, lemon-yellow moon?
There are some people, unlike me and you,
who do not yearn after fame or love or quantities of money as
unattainable as that moon;
thus, they do not later
have to waste more time
defaming the object of their former ardor.
Or consequently run and crucify themselves
in some solitary midnight Starbucks Golgotha.

I have news for you—
there are people who get up in the morning and cross a room
and open a window to let the sweet breeze in
and let it touch them all over their faces and bodies.

"I Have News For You" by Tony Hoagland


red dirt girl said...

Tony Hoagland is a poetic god - if you haven't read his book on the craft, Real Sofistikashun, you should.

In the meantime, I'm going to lie back by that empty swimming pool and stare at the lemon-yellow moon ...


bulletholes said...

I really like this one. found it last year sometime. The photo likely came from This isn't happiness, and got me in trouble on Facebook last year.

SL said...

Such a great poem!