To a Poet Infatuated with Tony Hoagland

— Casey FitzSimons

Friend, you’re better
than Tony, his sloppy suburban
chunks of pop culture dropping
barbecue sauce in my lap
as he chats. I much prefer
natural metaphors—the caves and spiders
of sex and fear, the dead elephants
of perspective. I much prefer
your images, ones that sustain themselves
or recur. They help string my thoughts together
without needing to prove a point
that’s already been made by a televised pundit
lamenting the world’s accretion of junk even
as he admits his own contribution
with irony and false regret.

Okay, be pleasant
when you run into him at a bus stop.
Compare your rates of deterioration.
Have a good time agreeing
that sad intimacies make good valentines.
Just don’t go looking for him—
you might find yourself telling us
in your closing lines exactly what you mean
in case we don’t get it.

One thought on “To a Poet Infatuated with Tony Hoagland

  1. A pithy review of a fellow poet – possibly well deserved – but your piece reached an apex of clever metaphors and sly humor. Loved reading it ….. now I have to go find Tony’s package. You did what poets are supposed to do ……… Light up the playground! M

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