One of Hollo’s greatest strengths, if not his greatest, is his ability to effectively expose American follies in a humorous way.
You might appreciate this poem more if you’ve actually visited Boulder, Colorado where Hollo teaches at Naropa University. It’s a beautiful town located at the base of the Rockies with many delightful restaurants and interesting shops. Its mile-high altitude also makes it a mecca for athletes who are training for long-distance running.
A TOWN DEDICATED TO THE PURSUIT OF
FITNESS & INNER PEACE
says the headline so that's where we are
that's why they're building
fifty new houses
right next door
now the telephone wants to tell me about a deal
on cleaning our carpets & upholstered things
I tell it "we don't have any"
then replace it quite gently
in what I believe is called its cradle
yes among those alive today
we're truly fortunate
to be living these charmingly specialized lives
in a town
dedicated to the pursuit of fitness & inner peace"
unlike the majority of the planet's towns
which remain dedicated
to plain old pursuit of food
& staying alive a few moments longer
yes fortunate if a bit haunted by Kafka's Fear
of waking up in less delightful state
but that comes & goes
just like the battles of light & darkness
old hats bursting out of their secret closets
to be stuffed back in to reappear thirty years later
empty as ever (no brains) but plenty of clout
very fit for his age
his inner peace
My son and his family moved to nearby Broomfield a few years ago and every time I’ve visited I’ve been amazed by the rapid growth in the area. I wasn’t, however, too surprised when I saw a recent story suggesting Colorado had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. The skeptic in me questions if such prosperity is really sustainable.
Or perhaps it’s the Burien in me,causing me to distrust neighborhoods that are too exclusive, too upscale, too Yuppie, even if I often find myself eating, and, occasionally, shopping in such places.
Perhaps the poem’s appeal is that right at the moment “fitness & inner peace” are my two major goals. Why else exercise two or three hours a day, go on long walks around to Puget Sound, and practice Tai Chi while New Age music plays on my iPod?
The least we can do is retain our sense of humor, and not take ourselves too seriously. After all, what does it really mean to be “very fit for [my] age?”