March 23, 2005

For the Boys in March [Filed under: Collins, Billy]


The murkiness of the local garage is not so dense
That you cannot make out the calendar of pinup
Drawings on the wall above a bench of tools.
Your ears are ringing with the sound of
The mechanic hammering on your exhaust pipe,
And as you look closer you notice that this month’s
Is not the one pushing the lawn mower, wearing
a straw hat and very short blue shorts,
her shirt tied in a knot just below her breasts.
Nor is it the one in the admiral’s cap, bending
Forward, resting her hands on a wharf piling,
Glancing over the tiny anchors on her shoulders.
No, this is March, the month of great winds,
So appropriately it is the one walking her dog
Along a city sidewalk on a very blustery day.
One hand is busy keeping her hat down on her head
And the other is grasping the little dog’s leash,
So of course there is no hand left to push down
Her dress which is billowing up around her waist
Exposing her long stockinged legs and yes the secret
Apparatus of her garter belt. Needless to say,
In the confusion of wind and excited dog
The leash has wrapped itself around her ankles
Several times giving her a rather bridled
And helpless appearance which is added to
By the impossibly high heels she is teetering on.
You would like to come to her rescue,
Gather up the little dog in your arms,
Untangle the leash, lead her to safety,
And receiver her bottomless gratitude, but
The mechanic is calling you over to look
At something under your car. It seems that he has
Run into a problem and the job is going
To cost more than he had said and take
Much longer than he had thought.
Well, it can’t be helped, you hear yourself say
As you return to your place by the workbench,
Knowing that as soon as the hammering resumes
You will slowly lift the bottom of the calendar
Just enough to reveal a glimpse of what
The future holds in store: ah,
The red polka-dot umbrella of April and her
Upturned palm extended coyly into the rain.

March 15, 2005

Tuesday [Filed under: Collins, Billy.Group Meetings]

Monday Morning

The complacency of this student, late
for the final, who chews her pen for an hour,
who sits in her sunny chair,
with a container of coffee and an orange,
a cockatoo swinging freely in her green mind
as if on some drug dissolved,
mingling to give her a wholly ancient rush.
She dreams a little and she fears the mark
she might well get—a catastrophe—
as a frown darkens the hauteur of her light brow.
The orange peels and her bright senior ring
make her think of some procession of classmates,
walking across the wide campus, without a sound,
stalled for the passing of her sneakered feet
over the lawn, to silent pals and steins,
dorm of nobody who would bother to pull an A or care.