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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IN THE WAITING ROOM WITH LEONARD COHEN
Excerpted from "Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God"
Copyright © 2018 Tony Hoagland.
Excerpted by permission of Graywolf Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
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
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
An Ordinary Night in Athens, Ohio 34
Inexhaustible Resource 35
Examples of Justice 37
Better Than Expected 38
The Truth 41
Frog Song 42
Scotch Tape 43
Dinner Guest 46
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
Good People 61
Cause of Death: Fox News 63
Real Estate 64
Data Rain 66
Confusion of Privilege 67
I Have Good News 69
Into the Mystery 71