If I Was Billy Collins

I was going to write about literary stuff again- has been my habit on Facebook for the past few days - but I'm finding myself short on time, since I just got a job for tomorrow and it's already almost midnight and I'll probably have trouble falling asleep, considering I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to my cat. Allergic in the sense that my throat itches and I have to cough or I feel like I'm choking kind of allergic. And breathing through my nose aggravates the itch; it's like the air hits it in just the right spot. Anyhow, I consider Billy Collins quite literary. I mean he was the Poet Laureate and all. I've been thinking about him for a few days and I was riding in my car pondering some of his poems and the similarity between them. And I parked somewhere and fished my pen from out of my purse and my little moleskin notebook from the pocket in the driver's side door and wrote down my own poem about Billy Collins' poetry. Sort of a poem- more of a list of the things that hit me as being peculiarly Collins-y. So, to meet my goal of writing daily, I present to you a poem.

If I Was Billy Collins

If I Was (or Were) Billy Collins
sitting down at the desk
just across from the piano
and the glass of melting ice on top of it
from the recent whiskey warming the lower part of my gut,
I would first mention the jazz album I am listening to
followed closely by what ordinary thing I happen to spy
out the window (a thrush perhaps),
while remembering the burn of the last cigarette I smoked.
Then, to wind it all up, I would address the ever-present and anonymous 'you' -
I would compare your nocturnal winter's cough
to the persistent beat of the bass line in whatever song was playing
when I took the last sip and crunched the last cube of ice,
leaving a wet ring on the black surface of the baby grand.


1 comment:

  1. Hey, on Sunday I ran into one of my students from my lit class. She was talking about how she enjoyed reading Billy Collins' poetry and wanted to write some of her own. I told her she should. I then silently thanked you for introducing me to BC...In mid April, the semester became extremely rushed; I knew I'd have to cut out a reading for the last day of class. It was between poetry and a short story. I really wanted to do this one short story b/c of its name. But I thought it best if I kept the Billy Collins and eliminated the short story. So I did. I introduced my class (and the unnamed student) to Billy Collins. It was the right move. Oh, by the way, the name of the short story? "Sexy," by Jhumpa Lahiri...Danielle, good job on the poem. Very Collinsian.


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