DICKHEAD by Tony Hoagland (Rated PG 13)

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Uploaded on October 13, 2008 by NewWarriorMan

"Dear Reid, It would be good for YouTube to create a category for POETRY. It should be available in every possible form." Tony Hoagland


By Tony Hoagland

To whomever taught me the word dickhead,
I owe a debt of thanks.
It gave me a way of being in the world of men
when I most needed one,
-- when I was pale and scrawny,
naked, goosefleshed
as a plucked chicken
in a supermarket cooler, a poor
-- forked thing stranded in the savage
universe of puberty, where wild
jockstraps flew across the steamy
-- skies of locker rooms,
and everybody fell down laughing
at jokes I didn?t understand.
-- But dickhead was a word as dumb
and democratic as a hammer, an object
you could pick up in your hand,
and swing,
-- saying dickhead this and dickhead that,
a song that meant the world
was yours enough at least
to bang on like a garbage can,
-- and knowing it, and having that
beautiful ugliness always
cocked and loaded in my mind,
protected me and calmed me like a psalm.
-- Now I have myself become
a beautiful ugliness,
and my weakness is a fact
so well established that
it makes me calm,
-- and I am calm enough
to be grateful for the lives I
never have to live again;
-- but I remember all the bad old days
back in the world of men,
when everything was serious, mysterious, scary,
hairier and bigger than I was;
I recall when flesh
was what I hated, feared
and was excluded from:
-- Hardly knowing what I did,
or what would come of it,
I made a word my friend.


"Tony Hoagland is one of the world's great living poets. I love his humor - his edge - and his great overflowing heart." - Reid


This is the first in a series featuring great poets from around the world - from nwm - with the permission and blessing of the author.


"Tony Hoagland is the author of three volumes of poetry: Sweet Ruin, winner of the Brittingham Prize in Poetry, Donkey Gospel, winner of the James Laughlin Award of The Academy of American Poets, and What Narcissism Means to Me, as well as a collection of essay's about poetry, Real Sofistakashun all by Graywolf Press. His poems and critical essays have appeared widely in journals and anthologies such as American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, and Ploughshares. Hoagland currently teaches in the poetry program at the University of Houston. He is the winner of the 2005 O.B. Hardison Jr. Prize. Awarded by the Folger Shakespeare Library, this is the only national prize to recognize a poet's teaching as well as his art. Hoagland also received the 2005 Mark Twain Award, given by the Poetry Foundation in recognition of a poets contribution to humor in American poetry." -

Hoagland's books are available at Amazon.com from Gray Wolf Publishing.


Hoagland, NewWarriorMan, Poetry, Reid Baer, Tony, Entertainment
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