“ALL DRESSED IN GREEN”

In the latest issue of Quagmire I find 7 new poems by Billy Collins.
In the new Kiss My Quarterly, 12 poems by Billy Collins.
Coming soon in Broken Meter, 18 poems by Billy Collins.
On NPR radio, Billy Collins reads “Wish I’d Written That.”
In my sleep, Billy Collins stars in a major motion picture
Directed by Billy Collins, produced by Billy Collins,
And featuring a supporting cast of thousands of Billy Collinses.

Tonight, at my local Barnes & Starbucks,
Billy Collins is giving a reading,
So naturally I go, all dressed in green,
Color of envy, money and snot.
Other striving poets fill nearly every seat,
Each wearing something green,
Each moving their lips as they quietly pray,
“O gods of poetry, whoever you are,
Please let a magic morsel fly
From the mouth of Billy Collins
And infect me, like a virus,
With whatever he has: The virus
Of being published,
The virus of selling books,
The virus of success.”
I sneer at them: “Stupid poets,”
I say, “That’s not how life works.”
But when Billy Collins appears at last,
Smiling and nodding, clearing his throat,
I find my seat in the very front row,
Open my mouth as wide as it goes,
And breathe.
Peter Krass
—from Rattle #33, Summer 2010
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