from this invisible room

Last one standing
out of all those masses
that failed the tests
weren’t tough enough
for the mind-games,
were too strong to stay
through the mind-games
that I survived, endured.

Sitting alone in a hotel room,
over a thousand miles from home.
A hard-won victory dissipating
into a stark aloneness, cold

mirrored futility —
an old much-used bed,
fake art-deco reproduction,
mauve carpet, 70’s flower
printed curtains —

a train rattles by on the track
across the road
from this invisible room
in someone else’s world.


All the gypsies
packed and gone by noon
after knocks on the door and
“goodbyes” and “see ya’s” yelled
on the way to their cars.

I am leaving tomorrow
but for good (I think) on
to another band of gypsies —
Simple rules, no confusion.
No mind games to win
or lose — no awards
were given anyway. Was
it even a win? How to know?

~2008 in Pryor, Oklahoma

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the type of man sex came to possess

~for MG

I thought of sex
when I first met you —
deep strides, dapper dress,
piercing eyes —
it all resonated, a chill shiver
down the depth of me &
warmth spreading deeper
with my crimson thoughts
because you are the type of man
sex came to possess,
own — carry
into closed rooms, silk beds.

The glass of wine
sparkling amber, glass bubbles
move in the glass,
the world rattles on around us
while your words fall
on the table between us
and then,
I am stunned
by the words, their rich
deep colors, meanings
moving into an acid-like Trip
in my brain. Stunned!

You have amazed me!
My words turn
around, crawl back down
into the velvet parts of me

as I realize
what you don’t –
I am too naive for this
conversation. Too distracted
with the thought of undressing
you to understand beyond lust.

Why do your words
keep spilling down, around, rolling
across the table, tumbling
to the floor
to lay like marbles
on the gleaming wood?

~April 2012 

Reading Billy Collins

Poetry is an...

Poetry is an... (Photo credit: liber(the poet);)

makes those trite phrases
in your poems glare and shine
like fools gold under a Texas moon.

Suddenly, all your poems stand up,
like age-old, long-gone Cowboys,
Yell out to the bartender:

Gimme’ a strong shot a whiskey! NOW man &
a beer for chasing down self-destruction,
to make it easier

to swallow all that black bile
you-they once considered poetry.
Reading Billy Collins makes

those dead-drought moments –
writers panic at a blank page –
rise up to a slop-house surface

in your mind. Mocking voices decry
an untalented impostor, not poet.
And then

the sun shines.
A feather-beam of light
falls across his final stanza

and hope returns — a dove-promise of the future,
whispering of a time to come
when, you too, poet-becoming, will be read.

 

~April 2012

 

Billy Collins is a wonderful poet and served as the United States Poet Laureate from 2001-2003. You can find out more about him at his website. FREE audio downloads from his collection, The Best Cigarette, may be found here