VivTown, Population: 1

text, images, poetry, miscellany, marginalia

Thursday, February 10, 2011


summerstbridgeOn my way to work every morning, I walk across Fort Point Channel via the Summer Street bridge. On frigid February mornings, with salty high-velocity winds coming in off Boston Harbor, it feels nothing short of heroic to make it across without being blown away…

This morning I stopped midway,  lifted my arms  and faced the wind. I would’ve liked to fly away to Antartica — parachute myself into that unsullied landscape and walk for miles and miles in icy stillness and through the white upon luminous white until I could walk no more. Then, a dreamless nap until spring.

Now, warm in my cubicle, I’ve stumbled onto this poem by Tony Hoagland. It suits me perfectly today and saves me the time of having to write it myself.


I was feeling pretty religious
standing on the bridge in my winter coat
looking down at the gray water:
the sharp little waves dusted with snow,
fish in their tin armor.

That’s what I like about disappointment:
the way it slows you down,
when the querulous insistent chatter of desire
goes dead calm

and the minor roadside flowers
pronounce their quiet colors,
and the red dirt of the hillside glows.

She played the flute, he played the fiddle
and the moon came up over the barn.
Then he didn’t get the job, —
or her father died before she told him
that one, most important thing—

and everything got still.

It was February or October
It was July
I remember it so clear
You don’t have to pursue anything ever again
It’s over
You’re free
You’re unemployed

You just have to stand there
looking out on the water
in your trench coat of solitude
with your scarf of resignation
lifting in the wind.

You can listen to Tony Hoagland read it here.

posted by admin at 10:55 am  

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress