Friday, February 17, 2017


'Everybody is born with at least 200 bad poems in them. It's best to get rid of them
by college.' --Billy Collins
hello Billy
you don’t know me
but I read your recent comment
and bundled 200 of my poems,
leaving them at the bottom of your driveway
for potential evaluation

I’m aware of how hard it is
to be accepted by Academia--
particularly when you, Billy Collins,
write poems that are easy
for most people to understand

and, to a lot of poets,
it means you’re not trying hard enough

okay, I get it,
you made that 200 bad poems comment
to keep your credibility
with the poets eternally upset
over how you sell more books
than they ever will

also, there’s that desire for intellectual bragging rights
when you appear onstage with Paul Simon and Aimee Mann
and get super-duper-eager to claim your poems
as existing on an equal plane to their lyrics

so go on, Billy,
keep talking about how elevated you are
and how bad all the beginners are

plus all the self-educated poets
like Adam Driver’s Paterson
(in the movie of the same name )

of course, they’re bad too
because they choose not to publish
or share their art
through accepted channels
with people like you

so, here are my 200 poems
destined to enter your blue recycling can
without even a glance at my cover letter
as you regret your long-ago misstep
of criticizing MFA programs
during one of your book tours,

believing this outburst of candor
about homogenized poetry
led to amateur me
annoying distinguished you

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