The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 5, 2010


Lauded poet will speak at FOGPL meeting

Editor’s Note: The following poem is reprinted by permission from the author. Mr. Hoffman will be the guest speaker at the Friends of the Gleason Public Library’s Annual Meeting at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 7, in the Hollis Room.

Good Thing

The explanations and peptalks are facile.
Deaths and the death of love have left me weakened.
It’s a damn good thing the heart’s a muscle.

Because it’s later and worse than it was, I’ll
try again. After each loss, myths beckoned:
excuses, wishes, peptalks much too facile,

fancy-dancing, dreaming, backing from the easel,
from the portrait I sketched till I sickened.
It’s a damn good thing the heart’s a muscle,

not gray jelly like what wobbles in the skull
and looks for words; or bone that aches and
hardens, brittle as dogma, to a child’s facile

stick-man. In the heart the will is gristle.
I or anyone I love could die at any second.
It’s a damn good thing the heart’s a muscle

that has no choice, that has to wrestle
with itself continually to live, a paradox and
proud of it, an old creed anything but facile,
a damn good dumb involuntary muscle.

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito