Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.

PHB

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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Maine Calling & Tony Hoagland's Disappointment


Perhaps you heard Garrison Keillor read Tony Hoagland's poem "Disappointment" on NPR this morning. If you're autoliterate, you will remember Tony's astonishing poem America which we posted with Tony's permission last year. Tony will be Jennifer Brooks' guest today on Maine Calling on MPBN radio. Richard Blanco, Betsy Sholl, and Steve Luttrell are also on board.  The show is  'Why Poetry Must Matter', which sounds a bit desperate. Poetry matters only if you read poetry. Good poetry matters the way strong weather does: wakes you up, makes you wonder about being alive.

Disappointment

I was feeling pretty religious
standing on the bridge in my winter coat
looking down at the gray water:
the sharp little waves dusted with snow,
fish in their tin armor.
That’s what I like about disappointment:
the way it slows you down,
when the querulous insistent chatter of desire
goes dead calm
and the minor roadside flowers
pronounce their quiet colors,
and the red dirt of the hillside glows.
She played the flute, he played the fiddle
and the moon came up over the barn.
Then he didn’t get the job, —
or her father died before she told him
that one, most important thing—
and everything got still.
It was February or October
It was July
I remember it so clear
You don’t have to pursue anything ever again
It’s over
You’re free
You’re unemployed
You just have to stand there
looking out on the water
in your trench coat of solitude
with your scarf of resignation
lifting in the wind.
"Disappointment” by Tony Hoagland from What Narcissism Means to Me. © Graywolf Press, 2006.  (buy now)

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