Tony Gloeggler

Mid Life Poetry Crisis

Sometimes I get sick
of seeing myself
in my poems, my Brooklyn
accent slurring its way
through every line,
whining about settling
into middle age, mostly
on my own, sometimes
lonely, while mulling over
every thing that’s missing.

I’m tired of song titles,
slow dying neighborhoods,
autistic kids, old and new
girlfriends, battered valentines,
baseball metaphors, subway
stations, not getting laid,
working class families,
drunk drivers, dead fathers
and every one else who never
try to talk to each other.

I want to open a window,
walk down a fire escape
without waking anyone,
without leaving a note. Walk
into a bank of coastal fog
and disappear. Come out
on the other side, thirty
years younger, go back
to school, get an MFA.

I want to believe in God,
spoken word and language
poetry, the power of rhyme.
Become witty and clever,
vague and obtuse, politically
correct. Wear a frayed
blazer and mismatched
socks, shave my balls, let
my upswept bangs hang
over my right eye, get
an ancient Japanese symbol
tattooed to my bicep, stand
around sipping cocktails

I want to write poems
filled with abstract meaning,
Greek Goddesses, second
generation immigrants
searching for identity
fierce transsexuals, down
to earth lesbians, World
Trade Center heroes, villains
victims, all their greedy relatives.

I want to write a sonnet
about a thin woman
viewing a Matisse print
from thirteen different
angles. Toil over a haiku,
put a bumblebee in it,
the sound its wings make
brushing a fucking tulip.

I want to open my email
to submission requests
from The New Yorker
and Poetry. Act humble
when nominations, awards
roll in. Put my agent
on hold. Teach at summer
conferences, speak on special
panels. And when I die,
bored, tortured school kids
will be forced to recite
my poems during
National Poetry Month.


Tony Gloeggler is a life-long resident of New York City and has managed group homes for the mentally challenged for over 35 years. His work has appeared recently in Rattle, New Ohio Review, The Paterson Literary Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, and Chiron Review. His full-length books include One Wish Left (Pavement Saw Press 2002) and Until The Last Light Leaves (NYQ Books 2015). Tony’s next book, What Kind Of Man, will be published by NYQ Books in late 2018.