ghost of an experience

September 30, 2018

nightmaresandsexyghouls - Stefan Heilmann - Boys are you brave enough to play with me

I asked the poet Tony Hoagland what he thought about fear. He said fear was the ghost of an experience: we fear the reoccurrence of a pain we once felt, and in this way fear is like a hangover. The memory of our pain is a pain unto itself, and thus feeds our fear like a foyer with mirrors on both sides. And then he quoted Auden: “And ghosts must do again / What gives them pain.”

Mary Ruefle
Madness, Rack, and Honey