Tuesday, 29 November 2011


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1 comment:

  1. Here's a poet's take on the same thing:

    Social Life, by Tony Hoagland

    After the first party peters out,
    like the gradual slowdown of a merry-go-round,
    another party begins

    and the survivors of the first party
    climb onto the second one
    and start it up again.

    Behind me now my friend Richard
    is getting a fresh drink; Ann, in her black dress,
    is fanning her breasts; Cynthia is prancing
    from group to group,
    making kissy-face—

    It is not given to me to understand
    the social pleasures of my species, but I think
    what they get from these affairs
    is what bees get from flowers—a nudging of the stamen,

    a sprinkle of pollen
    about the head and shoulders—

    whereas I prefer the feeling of going away, going away,
    stretching out my distance from the voices and the lights
    until the tether breaks and I

    am in the wild sweet dark
    where the sea breeze sizzles in the hedgetop,

    and the big weed heads, whose names I have never learned,
    lift and nod upon their stalks.

    What I like about the trees is how
    they do not talk about the failure of their parents
    and what I like about the grasses is that
    they are not grasses in recovery

    and what I like about the flowers is
    that they are not flowers in need of
    empowerment or validation. They sway

    upon their thorny stems
    as if whatever was about to happen next tonight
    was sure to be completely interesting—

    the moon rising like an ivory tusk,
    a few sextillion molecules of skunk
    strolling through the air
    to mingle with the aura of a honeysuckle bush,

    and when they bump together in my nose,
    I want to raise my head and sing,
    I’m a child in paradise again
    when you touch me like that, baby,

    but instead, I stand still and listen
    to the breeze streaming through the upper story of a tree
    and the hum of insects in the field,
    letting everything else have a word,

    and then another word—
    because silence is always good manners
    and often a clever thing to say
    when you are at a party.

    -Tony Hoagland, "Social Life," What Narcissism Means to Me (2003)