I Have News for You by Tony Hoagland
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
There are people who don’t walk past an empty swimming pool
and think about past pleasures irrecoverable
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 tuberous 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
unpacking 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 love or fame 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.
…because this is exactly how I feel about my life.
his poem reminds me of a time in my life when so little of my day was about me, that I felt it rising up in my throat sometimes. I tried to write it, so I felt less desperate. I remember this night exactly. We were paying $88 (a fortune at the time) for me to take a poetry writing class once a week. It was so far away that the trip in the car became my talisman, not the class. It helped, but my poetry wasn’t very good. No matter. The lonely night was what I needed.
I pull in the driveway
where the night hides me
The midnight breezes blanket me
with silk and shadow.
I look above and the dreaming starts-
the stars beckoning while
Orpheus fingers his harp
And I have to go!
My eyes open wide at the peace
and I find myself singing the night song.
Then a flash, the porch light blinds me
and the moon is gone.
My husband stands in the open door
No more dreaming tonight.
I caught a doe’s startled eyes at the edge of the road,
My headlights flashed her blind fear.
Even in the shadows, I could see soft fur.
Her head turned towards me-what?
I know I grabbed her soul in my headlights.
Just keep driving.
notes for next draft: OK, the problem with this poem is that it tells, not shows. many details about the doe, not enough about the driving. Is the homecoming threatening enough? not sure. no rhythm. also, should I be talking about Orpheus or Aeolus?