»

| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland

The following is a poem from What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland, published by Graywolf Press in November 2003.
 

Reasons to Survive November

November like a train wreck—
as if a locomotive made of cold
had hurtled out of Canada
and crashed into a million trees,
flaming the leaves, setting the woods on fire.

The sky is a thick, cold gauze—
but there's a soup special at the Waffle House downtown,
and the Jack Parsons show is up at the museum,
full of luminous red barns.

—Or maybe I'll visit beautiful Donna,
the kickboxing queen from Santa Fe,
and roll around in her foldout bed.

I know there are some people out there
who think I am supposed to end up
in a room by myself
with a gun and a bottle full of hate,
a locked door and my slack mouth open
like a disconnected phone.

But I hate those people back
from the core of my donkey soul
and the hatred makes me strong
and my survival is their failure,

and my happiness would kill them
so I shove joy like a knife
into my own heart over and over

and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.

 

—Reprinted from What Narcissism Means to Me with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. © 2003 by Tony Hoagland.

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved