Foreword Reviews

Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God

Good poets seem to recognize that what makes them good is what annoys them most about themselves. Damn the constant chatter—enough already!—but yes, admittedly, there’s some workable stuff in there. A masterful sifter, Tony Hoagland has authored five previous collections. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, he lives in New Mexico.

An Ordinary Night In Athens, Ohio

Those children in pajamas
in the big suburban houses

are not dreaming
of fireflies in jars,

nor model cars,
but of fist-fighting

on Mars
in bodies not their own;

they are not feeding the hamster
small bits of lettuce

and changing its name
from Joe to Josephine, and back,

but sprinting over the rooftops
of burning Dairy Queens

and aiming shoulder-launched rockets
into shopping malls.

They are not dreaming
of taking the quiz

and getting deeply hung up
on the answer to question four,

but of yellow school buses
wrapped in ruptures of flame,

and of playmates they knew
in second grade

floating facedown
over the dimes and tarnished pennies

in the wishing fountain.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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