Old 11-10-2005, 09:48 AM   #1
Angeline
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Billy for Bogus

So he (Bogusbrig) hates Billy Collins because some beast of a woman spoiled him for Bogus. That's just not right, is it? Post a Billy Collins poem in this thread for Bogusbrig. You know he'll read them--he'll be compelled to just like he was with Plath. It'll be good therapy for him.

Bogus, I thought about which Collins poem might draw your attention. This one has relevance to other discussions on the forum, not to mention this site. I'm not sure it's one of his best; it's not one of my absolute favorites of his, but pretty good imo.



Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes

First, her tippet made of tulle,
easily lifted off her shoulders and laid
on the back of a wooden chair.

And her bonnet,
the bow undone with a light forward pull.

Then the long white dress, a more
complicated matter with mother-of-pearl
buttons down the back,
so tiny and numerous that it takes forever
before my hands can part the fabric,
like a swimmer's dividing water,
and slip inside.

You will want to know
that she was standing
by an open window in an upstairs bedroom,
motionless, a little wide-eyed,
looking out at the orchard below,
the white dress puddled at her feet
on the wide-board, hardwood floor.

The complexity of women's undergarments
in nineteenth-century America
is not to be waved off,
and I proceeded like a polar explorer
through clips, clasps, and moorings,
catches, straps, and whalebone stays,
sailing toward the iceberg of her nakedness.

Later, I wrote in a notebook
it was like riding a swan into the night,
but, of course, I cannot tell you everything -
the way she closed her eyes to the orchard,
how her hair tumbled free of its pins,
how there were sudden dashes
whenever we spoke.

What I can tell you is
it was terribly quiet in Amherst
that Sabbath afternoon,
nothing but a carriage passing the house,
a fly buzzing in a windowpane.

So I could plainly hear her inhale
when I undid the very top
hook-and-eye fastener of her corset

and I could hear her sigh when finally it was unloosed,
the way some readers sigh when they realize
that Hope has feathers,
that reason is a plank,
that life is a loaded gun
that looks right at you with a yellow eye.


Next poem....
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Old 11-10-2005, 09:56 AM   #2
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Dear Reader


Baudelaire considers you his brother,
and Fielding calls out to you every few paragraphs
as if to make sure you have not closed the book,
and now I am summoning you up again,
attentive ghost, dark silent figure standing
in the doorway of these words.

Pope welcomes you into the glow of his study,
takes down a leather-bound Ovid to show you.
Tennyson lifts the latch to a moated garden,
and with Yeats you lean against a broken pear tree,
the day hooded by low clouds.

But now you are here with me,
composed in the open field of this page,
no room or manicured garden to enclose us,
no Zeitgeist marching in the background,
no heavy ethos thrown over us like a cloak.

Instead, our meeting is so brief and accidental,
unnoticed by the monocled eye of History,
you could be the man I held the door for
this morning at the bank or post office
or the one who wrapped my speckled fish.
You could be someone I passed on the street
or the face behind the wheel of an oncoming car.

The sunlight flashes off your windshield,
and when I look up into the small, posted mirror,
I watch you diminish—my echo, my twin—
and vanish around a curve in this whip
of a road we can't help traveling together.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:04 AM   #3
bogusbrig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline
So he (Bogusbrig) hates Billy Collins because some beast of a woman spoiled him for Bogus. That's just not right, is it? Post a Billy Collins poem in this thread for Bogusbrig. You know he'll read them--he'll be compelled to just like he was with Plath. It'll be good therapy for him.

Bogus, I thought about which Collins poem might draw your attention. This one has relevance to other discussions on the forum, not to mention this site. I'm not sure it's one of his best; it's not one of my absolute favorites of his, but pretty good imo.
I'm flattered by your attention. * blushing* I'm sure if you had given me the book I would sleep with it under my pillow.

I promise I'll give him another go and I'll try to pretend her hands have never touched the book.

Though just thinking about it, I can feels my hands twitching and reaching for her throat.

Last edited by bogusbrig : 11-10-2005 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:12 AM   #4
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Ange? Billy again?
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:17 AM   #5
Angeline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogusbrig
I'm flattered by your attention. * blushing* I'm sure if you had given me the book I would sleep with it under my pillow.

I promise I'll give him another go and I'll try to pretend her hands have never touched the book.

Though just thinking about it, I can feels my hands twitching and reaching for her throat.
Oh believe me, I understand that feeling in a profound way that will someday spill into more poems than I can bear to consider right now.

But you are too kind. Eve used to call me "sweet" until she figured out how persistantly wily I can be. Here's another poem. It's one of my favorites of his. eagleyez is forever making "top five" lists of art he loves. This is a top five Billy poem for me.



Man Listening To Disc

This is not bad --
ambling along 44th Street
with Sonny Rollins for company,
his music flowing through the soft calipers
of these earphones,

as if he were right beside me
on this clear day in March,
the pavement sparkling with sunlight,
pigeons fluttering off the curb,
nodding over a profusion of bread crumbs.

In fact, I would say
my delight at being suffused
with phrases from his saxophone --
some like honey, some like vinegar --
is surpassed only by my gratitude

to Tommy Potter for taking the time
to join us on this breezy afternoon
with his most unwieldy bass
and to the esteemed Arthur Taylor
who is somehow managing to navigate

this crowd with his cumbersome drums.
And I bow deeply to Thelonious Monk
for figuring out a way
to motorize -- or whatever -- his huge piano
so he could be with us today.

This music is loud yet so confidential.
I cannot help feeling even more
like the center of the universe
than usual as I walk along to a rapid
little version of "The Way You Look Tonight,"

and all I can say to my fellow pedestrians,
to the woman in the white sweater,
the man in the tan raincoat and the heavy glasses,
who mistake themselves for the center of the universe --
all I can say is watch your step,

because the five of us, instruments and all,
are about to angle over
to the south side of the street
and then, in our own tightly knit way,
turn the corner at Sixth Avenue.

And if any of you are curious
about where this aggregation,
this whole battery-powered crew,
is headed, let us just say
that the real center of the universe,

the only true point of view,
is full of hope that he,
the hub of the cosmos
with his hair blown sideways,
will eventually make it all the way downtown.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedEve
Ange? Billy again?
Shush!

Remember the email you sent me about the conversation you and D had about me and Billy? I still have it.

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Old 11-10-2005, 10:48 AM   #7
WickedEve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline
Shush!

Remember the email you sent me about the conversation you and D had about me and Billy? I still have it.



By the way, if I ever meet billy, I'm kicking him.
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:56 AM   #8
Angeline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedEve


By the way, if I ever meet billy, I'm kicking him.
I bet he'd love it. There's something subby about him.
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:19 AM   #9
annaswirls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline
I bet he'd love it. There's something subby about him.

omg you have just implanted a fantasy in my mind that will never leave, I am sure of it.

Eve, you can break him then send him my way please?
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:23 AM   #10
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The Dead

The dead are always looking down
on us, they say,
while we are putting on our shoes
or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the
glass-bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly
through eternity

They watch the tops of our heads
moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or
on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a
warm afternoon,
they think we are looking back at
them,

which makes them lift their oars
and fall silent
and wait, like parents, for us to
close our eyes.


~Billy Collins
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Old 11-10-2005, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angeline
Oh believe me, I understand that feeling in a profound way that will someday spill into more poems than I can bear to consider right now.
By the time this thread runs out of steam I guess I'm going to love him or have two women I want to throttle.

But for the moment...
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogusbrig
I'm flattered by your attention. * blushing* I'm sure if you had given me the book I would sleep with it under my pillow.

I promise I'll give him another go and I'll try to pretend her hands have never touched the book.

Though just thinking about it, I can feels my hands twitching and reaching for her throat.
Hey Bogus!

In my world nothing ever happens without a reason. Nothing. Not anything. And we rarely recognize our teachers when they come along. Maybe the sole reason for you meeting her was to introduce you to Billy. Stranger things have happened, ya know!!!

He's not my fav, but he's pretty good. imho, of course.
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooMerengue
Hey Bogus!

In my world nothing ever happens without a reason. Nothing. Not anything. And we rarely recognize our teachers when they come along. Maybe the sole reason for you meeting her was to introduce you to Billy. Stranger things have happened, ya know!!!

He's not my fav, but he's pretty good. imho, of course.
Hmm.....just pondering on that bit of wisdom.

*Bogus takes out his little black book and adds Boo's name to the list*
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:47 PM   #14
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NOW you've done it, BB! With this crew after you you'll get no peace!

Here, however, is the very first Collins poem I encountered, when he read it on the radio:

'Sonnet'

All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love's storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here wile we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.



btw, thanks for covering Friday!
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Old 11-10-2005, 12:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyguy69
NOW you've done it, BB! With this crew after you you'll get no peace!

Here, however, is the very first Collins poem I encountered, when he read it on the radio:

'Sonnet'

All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now,
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love's storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here wile we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed.



btw, thanks for covering Friday!
I have to admit I'm struggling to get an angle on him. Is he serious, tongue in cheek, subversive or...well, what you see is what you get?

I'm searching for the book this woman gave me, I must have freudian slipped it somewhere where I can't find it. Nothing against Collins, just this damn woman.
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:14 PM   #16
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The Best Cigarette

There are many that I miss
having sent my last one out a car window
sparking along the road one night, years ago.

The heralded one, of course:
after sex, the two glowing tips
now the lights of a single ship;
at the end of a long dinner
with more wine to come
and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier;
or on a white beach,
holding one with fingers still wet from a swim.

How bittersweet these punctuations
of flame and gesture;
but the best were on those mornings
when I would have a little something going
in the typewriter,
the sun bright in the windows,
maybe some Berlioz on in the background.
I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.

Then I would be my own locomotive,
trailing behind me as I returned to work
little puffs of smoke,
indicators of progress,
signs of industry and thought,
the signal that told the nineteenth century
it was moving forward.
That was the best cigarette,
when I would steam into the study
full of vaporous hope
and stand there,
the big headlamp of my face
pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.

Billy Collins



Collins seems to say a lot using simple language. i think i kinda like the guy.


BB, blaming the woman is an old excuse.

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Old 11-10-2005, 01:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsweetone
BB, blaming the woman is an old excuse.

I can see this is going to be a long list.

*Bogus adds WSO to the list in his little black book*
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:22 PM   #18
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anticipation is great, aint it?




wso
ps why don't you simply recover the book? your an artist aren't you? design a new cover.
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:25 PM   #19
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I've found my Billy Collins book, it's Sailing Alone Around The Room. I'll give it a good read tonight since so many women seem willing to pay a very high price for the sake of him.
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsweetone
anticipation is great, aint it?




wso
ps why don't you simply recover the book? your an artist aren't you? design a new cover.
It's fact that SHE as in the.....how can I put it politely...I can't...the lying two-faced bitch likes him, that is my problem, not the cover. Maybe if I heard through the grape vine she had died a very slow and painful death I wouldn't find it less difficult to rehabilitate Billy.

Oooo I sound bitter don't I?
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:35 PM   #21
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...there's a little bit of good in everyone...

...cutting off your nose to spite your face...

...Medusa would have liked him...

...there was nothing great that came out of your relationship with her except the fact she knew good poetry when she saw it...


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Old 11-10-2005, 01:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildsweetone

...there was nothing great that came out of your relationship with her [i
except[/i] the fact she knew good poetry when she saw it...


Actually, although I say it very grudgingly, she could write a bit and knew good writing when she saw it.

She's just prejudiced me against so much.
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:50 PM   #23
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she's won if she continues to do that when she's no longer around.
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogusbrig
Hmm.....just pondering on that bit of wisdom.

*Bogus takes out his little black book and adds Boo's name to the list*
laughing...

And what little book of lists is that, love?

signed,

Boo The Peon
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Old 11-10-2005, 07:00 PM   #25
Angeline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annaswirls
omg you have just implanted a fantasy in my mind that will never leave, I am sure of it.

Eve, you can break him then send him my way please?
This made me giggle. Only a poet chick could have a fantasy about domming Billy Collins.
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