All week long Hoagland's line, "Oh Life! Can you blame me / for making a scene?" has been running through my mind. It is my recent call out to the world; my mental mantra for the week. So now, dear reader, I give you the fabulous Tony Hoagland.
PersonalDon’t take it personal, they said;but I did, I took it all quite personal—the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;the price of grapefruit and stamps,the wet hair of women in the rain—And I cursed what hurt meand I praised what gave me joy,the most simple-minded of possible responses.The government reminded me of my father,with its deafness and its laws,and the weather reminded me of my mom,with her tropical squalls.Enjoy it while you can, they said of HappinessThink first, they said of TalkGet over it, they saidat the School of Broken Heartsbut I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’tbelieve in the clean break;I believe in the compound fractureserved with a sauce of dirty regret,I believe in saying it alland taking it all backand saying it again for good measurewhile the air fills up with I’m-Sorrieslike wheeling birdsand the trees look seasick in the wind.Oh life! Can you blame mefor making a scene?You were that yellow caboose, the moondisappearing over a ridge of cloud.I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;barking and barking:trying to convince everything elseto take it personal too.
Source: Poetry (July/August 2009).