Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Romantic Moment" by Tony Hoagland

Poem from Tony Hoagland's new collection of poems, Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty. And it features a chimp.
Romantic Moment

After seeing the nature documentary we walk down Canyon Road,
onto the plaza of art galleries and high end clothing stores

where the orange trees are fragrant in the summer night
and the smooth adobe walls glow fleshlike in the dark.

It is just our second date, and we sit down on a bench,
holding hands, not looking at each other,

and if I were a bull penguin right now I would lean over
and vomit softly into the mouth of my beloved

and if I were a peacock I’d flex my gluteal muscles to
erect and spread the quills of my Cinemax tail.

If she were a female walkingstick bug she might
insert her hypodermic probiscus directly into my neck

and inject me with a rich hormonal sedative
before attaching her egg sac to my thoracic undercarriage,

and if I were a young chimpanzee I would break off a nearby tree limb
and smash all the windows in the plaza jewelry stores.

And if she was a Brazilian leopard frog she would wrap her impressive
tongue three times around my right thigh and

pummel me softly against the surface of our pond
and I would know her feelings were sincere.

Instead we sit awhile in silence, until
she remarks that in the relative context of tortoises and igunanas,

human males seem to be actually rather expressive.
And I say that female crocodiles really don’t receive

enough credit for their gentleness,
Then she suggests that it is time for us to go

do something personal, hidden, and human.

(Tony Hoagland, from Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty, Graywolf Press 2010)


Jon said...

Not a big fan of nature similes but that was pretty good. Thanks.

Jon said...

That was no simile. That was a metaphor.