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Poem a Day December #18

Oops, I didn’t again...post that is. Tsk tsk, shame on me. What kind of a writer do I think I am, anyway? Oh, that’s right...this kind.


Billy Collins’s Poems Are All


such well behaved children

sitting in perfect rows behind

their desks, pencils freshly sharpened

notebooks open, eager to learn

something new about themselves

or the greater world at large.


Products of their Jesuit upbringing

they just say no to drugs, rarely drink,

never mention sex in mixed company—

and when was the last time

you heard one of them let loose

with the F-bomb?


No, these are clearly the A-students,

intent on bettering themselves,

on making good on their promises,

on leaving this world a better place

when they are finished with it

than when they entered it.


Meanwhile, my poems are more like

Jimmy Dinesfeld, Duncefeld as we,

the rotten kids, so cruelly named him,

who was always being taken angrily

by the ear from his seat in the far

rear of the classroom and led quickly

to his new seat in front of everybody,

against the wall at the head of the baby row,

or as Sister Veronica referred to it when

she became angry, the B.A.B.Y. row!


Baby! Baby! Baby! She would scream,

slamming down the eraser as she turned,

her furious face emerging

from the fog of swirling chalk dust,

her squinting eyes

lasering in on poor Duncefeld,

who was just minding his own business

when I hit him with a spit wad, causing him to

jump in his seat a little. What the fuck?!

he would yell as the class laughed and laughed.


That’s the kind of children my poems are.




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