The Doldrums. - There is an area of the ocean called the Intertropical Convergence Zone. It sounds complicated and terribly exotic but isn't really. It is the region rou...
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Billy Collins, Poet as Crack Dealer
I see you Billy Collins. Standing alone in your room. You, the plainest named of all poets.
I have been meaning to sit down with you. To chat. I know you dig jazz. But I've been busy. You understand. And there are writers with fancier clothes and shinier cars. And then I heard you called the "Oprah of poetry."
Dude. I'm a guy. I'm walking a tightrope of toughness with poetry as it is, which I've got to balance with bare-knuckle boxing, raw eggs with meals, and driving a Ford pick-up. I can't consort with any kind of Oprah, for crissakes!
So you sat. And I wasn't looking for you. Then I was exchanging some winter-inspired poems back and forth with folks and an old friend sends over, "Shoveling Snow with Buddha." And that opened the door.
Zen. In the momentness, clothed in the everyday. The infinite revealed in the mundane. Collins' pyrotechnics take place beneath and above simple words and form that ambles through the room with its feet slightly above the floor.
Damn you Billy Collins and your wry, easy smile, knowing you're peddling aesthetic and philosophical crack rock, inviting us in easily and then spinning the room like a bottle.
Have you seen the stack of books I've got going? I don't need another poet to read. And an oxy-moron like a "best-selling poet?" Nothing against best-sellers, I generally just try to find my own way, slightly off-center.
Well, if you can't beat 'em, to hell with it, I suppose. What time does Oprah come on?