"Happiness, Joe says, is a wild red flower
plucked from a river of lava
and held aloft on a tightrope
strung between two scrawny trees
above a canyon
in a manic-depressive windstorm.
Don’t drop it, Don’t drop it, Don’t drop it—,"
And when you do, you will keep looking for it
everywhere, for years,
while right behind you,
the footprints you are leaving
will look like notes
of a crazy song.
- Excerpt from Tony Hoagland's "How it Adds Up" (2003)
"Outside the youth center, between the liquor store
and the police station,
a little dogwood tree is losing its mind;
overflowing with blossomfoam,
like a sudsy mug of beer;
like a bride ripping off her clothes,
dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds,
so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene.
It’s been doing that all week:
and throwing it away,
and making more."
Except from Tony Hoagland's "A Color of the Sky" 2003
"Friends, we should have postmarks on our foreheads
to show where we have been;
we should have pointed ears, or polka-dotted skin
to show what we were thinking
when we hot-rodded over God’s front lawn,
and Death kept blinking."
Excerpt from Tony Hoagland's "Memory as a Hearing Aid" (1998)
Photography (c) KNOTORYUS 2011