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Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God

Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God

by Tony Hoagland


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“Hoagland’s verse is consistently, and crucially, bloodied by a sense of menace and by straight talk.” —The New York Times

My heroes are the ones who don’t say much.
They don’t hug people they just met.
They don’t play louder when confused.
They use plain language even when they listen.

Wisdom doesn’t come to every Californian.
Chances are I too will die with difficulty in the dark.

If you want to see a lost civilizaton,
why not look in the mirror?
If you want to talk about love, why not begin with those marigolds you forgot to water?

—from “Real Estate”

Tony Hoagland’s poems interrogate human nature and contemporary culture with an intimate and wild urgency, located somewhere between outrage, stand-up comedy, and grief. His new poems are no less observant of the human and the worldly, no less skeptical, and no less amusing, but they have drifted toward the greater depths of open emotion. Over six collections, Hoagland’s poetry has gotten bigger, more tender, and more encompassing. The poems in Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God turn his clear-eyed vision toward the hidden spaces—and spaciousness—in the human predicament.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555978075
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 88
Sales rank: 573,840
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Tony Hoagland is the author of five previous poetry collections, including Application for Release from the Dream and What Narcissism Means to Me, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Copyright © 2018 Tony Hoagland.
Excerpted by permission of Graywolf Press.
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Table of Contents


Entangle 7

A Walk around the Property 9

The Romance of the Tree 10

Happy and Free 11

Which Would You Prefer, a Story or an Explanation? 12

Nobility 13

No Thank You 14

Proof of Life 16

Distant Regard 17

Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God 19


In the Waiting Room with Leonard Cohen 23

Ten Questions for the New Age 25

Ten Reasons Why We Cannot Seem to Make Progress 27

Epistle of Momentary Generosity 28

A Short History of Modern Art 29

Theater Piece 31

Couture 33

An Ordinary Night in Athens, Ohio 34

Inexhaustible Resource 35

Achilles 36

Examples of Justice 37

Better Than Expected 38


The Truth 41

Frog Song 42

Scotch Tape 43

Playboy 44

Dinner Guest 46

Rain-Father 47

Moment in the Conversation 49

Marriage Song 51

Trying to Keep You Happy 52

Taking My Medicine 53

The Third Dimension 54

The Classics 56


Upward 59

Good People 61

Cause of Death: Fox News 63

Real Estate 64

Legend 65

Data Rain 66

Confusion of Privilege 67

Hope 68

I Have Good News 69

Into the Mystery 71

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