Wednesday, April 01, 2009

National Poetry Month!

Yes, it is.

And in celebration, I will try to share some poetry with you this month. Since I don't know or understand copyright rules for the internet, I don't dare share a whole poem with you (unless it's mine), so I'll just give you some juicy tidbits.

Tonight I discovered Tony Hoagland, who read at the Salt Lake City library. I really like his stuff! So I, uh, accidentally bought his book (Donkey Gospel) after the reading. And cracked it open to the middle, where his poem, "Here in Berkeley" caught my eye. Because I lived in Berkeley, and because I have been trying to write a poem about Berkeley for years. (I've made lists and lists of all the amazing, colorful details, the cultural contrasts you get walking down the street--but haven't been able to formulate a satisfying poem yet.) Well, now I think I won't bother, because this poem is so great. Here's how it starts:

from "Here in Berkeley"
by Tony Hoagland

the jogger with the Rastafarian sweats
runs past the mechanic reading Marx on lunch break
with a sprout sandwich for a bookmark
as the sunlight through a bottle of Perrier
wobbles little rainbows on his knee.

On the corner, someone wearing I Ching earrings
is talking about personal space,
how she just can't take it anymore
the way that Marcia's codependency
defeats her own empowerment.
"The whole seminar is out of whack," she says,
slapping a bouquet of daisies on her knee.

Close your eyes,
swing a baguette horizontally,
you'll hit someone with a Ph.D.
in sensitivity . . .

Anyway, as is always the case with poetry, showing you just a part of it is a shame, like showing you only a corner of a painting. Still, that little taste is enough to give me shivers--yes, Berkeley.

1 comment:

Cheri said...

I need to read the rest of this poem! It's perfect. I start to picture the streets and smell the smells.

And thanks for posting all these and reminding me how much I love poetry.