In the comments to yesterday’s post on ekphrastic poetry, a reader asked if I’d ever written a poem about a poem. Self-referential creatures that we are, poets often write about poems, and I’m no exception. So here in order, are the poem and the poem referencing the poem:
Now that I reread this poem, I don’t want to put mine in the same post. You can read mine here, and if you like, you can go read (or listen to) the amazing Tony Hoagland poem it references from its more illustrious home on the web, where it deserves to be.
When we get back from the reading,
I look for the poem
Tony Hoagland didn’t read
and go in to read it to Larry
but he’s watching the scene with the knife
and the duct tape from Reservoir Dogs,
grinning and eating pistachios.
I have to look away.
It’s the wrong moment for “Lucky,”
or for any poem recitation
I can think of, though the calculated,
casual laceration on the screen
is a kind of aria of American violence,
part of our national fabric, like lynching
and invasion and prize fights
and men have an appetite for it
and watch it with pleasure,
just as women love the pinch
and pitch of stilettos,
the beauty and pain
part of one package.
And because I have my own
I simply turn and wait for another moment,
when my husband’s eyes won’t be alight
with animal pleasure
and he’ll be open to a more subtle
beauty, as he often is,
as we often both are,
as we falter together
along the catwalk