One time I met Billy Collins while he was standing next to H.R. Stoneback. Well, “met” might not be the right word. I stood next to them awkwardly trying to muster up something to say. I think I said “hello” but I’m not sure how audible it was. Still, it was a moment in which I’ll never forget and one that I’m quite sure both poets forgot immediately. Billy Collins one time said that everything we say comes out like a haiku. When he said it I think he was trying to be funny. But I took it to heart. I walked around college thinking that everything everyone said was a poem. It drove me nuts. Although that has faded somewhat as I have gotten older, I have realized that certain things that happen could be a poem. And I’ve tried to hold onto that.
Here’s 3 quick poems that can represent what Mr. Collins may have been clawing at. But more accurately, here’s 3 quick poems that I scratched out about a moment in my life.
Today is 11/21/13
I’m a quarter short of being half full.
I’ll be half a glass away from
I’ll have to get more
Betcha didn’t see that one coming.
The Saddest Poem
Nothing is sadder than
a lumber yard in a hot humid
late summer downpour.
4 figures kick stones into puddles
wondering what to build next.
Paper Towel Mess
in the dawn red sky
look like coffee grounds
soaking up cranberry juice
on my white formica countertop in the morning.
I said, “Look! Birds!” to my wife
pointing at the mess
and she threw me a paper towel.