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April Is National Poetry Month

Here’s a poem for April 30, 2024

I love the hoses of summer
hanging in their green coils
from the sides of houses,
or slithering through lawns
on their way to the cool
meditations of sprinklers.

I think of my father, armed
with his scotch and garden hose
probing the dusk
with water, the world
in flames around him,
booze running the show.
Still, he liked to walk out
after dinner and water the yard,
fiddling with the nozzle,
misting this, showering that.

Sometimes, in the hot twilight,
my sisters and I would run
in our swimsuits through the grass
while he followed us
with a cold beam of water.

And once, when my mother
came out to watch, he turned
the hose on her, the two of them
laughing in a way we’d never heard,
a laughter that must have brought them
back to the beginning.

—from Imperial

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  • Hoses
George Bilgere

“A welcome breath of fresh, American air.” —Billy Collins

“There’s nothing George doesn’t take to heart, whether it’s a boy watching his father drink himself to death in a hotel room or a grown man who watches his family at play and marvels at the lucky breaks that have led him to this quiet happiness. Nobody captures the sorrows and beauties of this world better.”

—David Kirby, author of More Than This: Poems

Cheeky nephew of Billy Collins, brash blunt brother of Tony Hoagland, George Bilgere writes the poetry of frontal candor about desire, nostalgia, and sweet sad vanity. The rest of us professor poetry guys maybe better give up writing funny-ruefully about our typical lucky lives, because Bilgere has the territory so well-covered.”


—Mark Halliday, author of Thresherphobe

“George Bilgere is an absolute whiz at the twists and turns of the glorious American language, the flexible American syntax, as spoken by everybody up and down the great chain of Americanness in our bewitched century. Oh what a pleasure to watch him spin those sentences.”


—Alicia Ostriker, author of Waiting for the Light

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