Man Carrying Sofa

I just read this, and it was so incredibly amazing, and it made me think of a poem by Tony Hoagland. I couldn’t find a good link to it online, and I don’t believe I’ve ever posted it, so here it goes.

This poem is from Hoagland’s book What Narcissism Means to Me, and I think I found it in an issue of The Sun some years ago.

Man Carrying Sofa

Whatever happened to Cindy Morrison, that nice young lesbian?
I heard she moved to the city and got serious.
Traded in her work boots for high heels and a power suit.
Got a healthcare plan and an attorney girlfriend.

Myself, I don’t want to change.
It’s January and I’m still dating my checks November.
I don’t want to step through the doorway of the year.
I’m afraid of something falling off behind me.
I’m afraid my own past will start forgetting me.

Now the sunsets are like cranberry sauce
poured over the yellow hills, and yes,
that beauty is so strong it hurts –
it hurts because it isn’t personal.

But we look anyway, we sit upon our stoops
and stare, — fierce,
like we were tossing down a shot of vodka, straight,
and afterwards, we feel purified and sad and rather Russian.

When David was in town last week,
I made a big show to him of how unhappy I was
because I wanted him to go back and tell Susan
that I was suffering without her –

but then he left and I discovered
I really was miserable
– which made me feel better about myself –
because, after all, I don’t want to go through time untouched.

What a great journey this is,
this ordinary life of ants and sandwich wrappers,
of x-rated sunsets and drive-through funerals.

And this particular complex pain inside your chest;
this damaged longing
like a heavy piece of furniture inside you;
you carry it, it burdens you, it drags you down –
then you stop, and rest on top of it.

4 Responses to “Man Carrying Sofa”


  1. 1 wide open spaces April 9, 2009 at 11:22 am

    really, really fantastic. but you knew I’d love it, didn’t you?

  2. 2 Cherri Porter March 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    You gotta love google. I followed the wide open spaces thread here–I read the poem on her site, and then linked through to this one, and the “targeted” ad I see at the bottom of this page is about asbestos because I just googled about removing popcorn paint from the ceiling. You can’t be anonymous on the internets! Love the poems everyone.


  1. 1 Windchime: poetry podcast #6 « blue bicicletta Trackback on January 25, 2010 at 11:07 am
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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer living in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Thank you for visiting my blog!

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