another pome


by Tony Hoagland

Sometimes I wish I were still out
on the back porch, drinking jet fuel
with the boys, getting louder and louder
as the empty cans drop out of our paws
like booster rockets falling back to Earth

and we soar up into the summer stars.
Summer. The big sky river rushes overhead,
bearing asteroids and mist, blind fish
and old space suits with skeletons inside.
On Earth, men celebrate their hairiness,

and it is good, a way of letting life
out of the box, uncapping the bottle
to let the effervescence gush
through the narrow, usually constricted neck.

And now the crickets plug in their appliances
in unison, and then the fireflies flash
dots and dashes in the grass, like punctuation
for the labyrinthine, untrue tales of sex
someone is telling in the dark, though

no one really hears. We gaze into the night
as if remembering the bright unbroken planet
we once came from,
to which we will never
be permitted to return.
We are amazed how hurt we are.
We would give anything for what we have.



Ulysses said...

It's coming up on that time
Tools put up
Paused before going in
Sunless sky still radiant
Listening for crickets
Surprise at the first flashes
Remembered delights
That lead back out in the yard

red dirt girl said...


It IS a summertime feeling kind of poem. A GUY's GUY pome. But a lonely one as well. Can you feel its solitude?


Anonymous said...

truly a guy's pome and one does need to celebrate one's hairiness. the last line is sublime though

soubriquet said...

I recognise that evening.
The wimmin will have retired indoors.
They've tidied, as a group, the mess of the earlier meal, washed pots and pans and put them away, whilst the men, as a group, outside, have inspected the garage, commented on the state of the grass, and discussed re-seeding as opposed to waiting and hoping, they've enthused over the new socket-wrenches, and now, they're drinking beer and eyeing the sky, watching twinkling motes in orbit, whilst the women, oh the women...
they have no idea what the women are talking about. Babies, fashion, and recipes, they vaguely think, and when is Jack going to redecorate?
The men are watching the sky. They have the outward urge, they feel the tug of the unknown.

soubriquet said...

And we do that, you know, stand on one leg, holding our imaginary spear, we're always planning an expedition of some sort.

Even if it's only to Home Depot.

Not Ikea, I barely escaped alive on the last voyage there, I've marked the chart "Here be thund'drous storm, dragons, pass this place far to windward".