Happiness, Joe says, is a wild red flower
plucked from a river of lava
and held aloft on a tightrope
strung between two scrawny trees
above a canyon
in a manic-depressive windstorm.
Don’t drop it, Don’t drop it, Don’t drop it—,
And when you do, you will keep looking for it
everywhere, for years,
while right behind you,
the footprints you are leaving
will look like notes
of a crazy song.
From How It Adds Up, by Tony Hoagland
I shouldn't be here, reader. I should be studying right now, desperately. I have an exam I need to give on Sunday, and a lot depends on how well I do in it. I've driven myself half mad this past month trying to absorb as much as I can. I've nearly turned cross-eyed from reading so much, and I find myself daydreaming far more than is seemly. My mind does not take well to being cooped up. The happiest moment of my day is when I go for a run in the evening, and for a little while action is a substitute for thought. Almost all the time though, I feel terribly restless. I scold myself to no avail. It's silly really. When I'm busy and swept up in action, I crave time for thought, and now when I seem to have all the time in the world, I waste it.
Ah well, enough about me. I just needed to scold myself publicly, to invoke what little shame I hope I still possess. The whole point of this post really was to share with you the poetry of Tony Hoagland who I've recently discovered and can not stop reading. I wish I could write like that. I know wishes are futile, but it's still wonderful to know that I at least share space on this earth with people who can write like that. People who think up these incredible, heartbreakingly lovely, cunningly wrought things and are generous enough to share them with the rest of us.
It's a comforting thought, reader. Inspiration is really never too far away.