Diary

I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that I like Hollo’s later poems more than his earlier poems, which is not to say that I’d rank him up there with Roethke or even Robinson Jeffers.

Even when he’s serious, as he is here in

MANIFEST DESTINY

to arrive in front of large video screen,
in pleasantly air-conditioned home with big duck pond in back,
some nice soft drinks by elbow, some good american snacks as well.
at least four hundred grand in the bank, and that’s for checking
an undisclosed amount in investments, and a copacetic evening
watching the latest military techné
wipe out poverty everywhere in the world
in its most obvious form, the poor

he manages to do so without sounding too serious. The truth of his insights, though, can be seen when you notice this poem was published in 1983, and is not just a knee-jerk reaction to the Bush-Cheney cabal. Perhaps its humorous tone makes it all the more effective.

I’m also fond of an even lighter poem,

DIARY

One day’s
big event was when

the cardboard
box I had set on

top of logs burning
in the grate toppled out

of the fireplace in a lively
state of combustion

perhaps because it reminds me of my own life in retirement where the biggest aggravation of the day is having to wait until 1:00 for UPS to deliver Photoshop CS3, and then being unable to install it without considerable angst.

Perhaps because I’ve been guilty of the same kind of foolishness and become flustered in trying to solve the problem.

Such is my life. Hopefully yours is more exciting, though I’ve had some visitors comment that they come here to get cheered up.

One thought on “Diary

  1. This brings to mind several poems by Kenneth Fearing; one by cummings (I sing of Olaf) that is far more sardonic but walks a similar line; one by Auden (his famous dirge for the anonymous citizen (“If anything were wrong we would certainly have heard…”) and some other tongue in cheek comments on human foibles (the Roman historian Tacitus: “They make a desolationand they call it peace.”) and even indirectly some of the razor-edged epigrams of JV Cunningham (“You ask me why Drab sells her love for gold? To have the means to buy it when she’s old.”) Hollo is lighter, more off-handed, but there is some vinegar in his words.

What do you think?