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Poem a Day December #2

Inspiration for today’s poem comes fresh off yesterday’s Poetry Broadcast by Billy Collins, beginning at the 2:41 mark. View it here:

Mea Culpa

On yesterday’s poetry broadcast,

with “Blue Cee” digging its way

out of his Marshall bluetooth

speaker, Billy Collins

recounted the time

he and his bad-news buddy,

Tom "Trouble" Wallace, were removed

from a club by none other than

Charles Mingus himself.

And, as interesting as that story was,

I couldn’t get past the fact that old

Wildcat Collins, old Mad Dog Bill,

was man enough to let bygones

be bygones by playing Crazy Charlie’s

hit tune for all the world to enjoy.

So, in the interests of growth

and accountability, allow me

to make amends with the following:

To my good buddy, Wild Bill Torres,

I apologize for tunneling through

the drywall of your closet with

the kicktail of your skateboard

shortly after we had graduated

high school,

emerging thirty minutes later

in the living room

of your rented apartment.

To my pal, No-Neck Big Dave,

please forgive my tenacity

in attempting (three times)

to enter the patio of

Madison Bear Garden in Chico

by scaling the fence. Know

that it was the booze, not me.

To Martial-Arts Mark, bouncer

at the Joe Walsh concert

at the Strand in Redondo Beach,

thank you for promptly folding

my arm behind my back

and marching me into the lobby

to set me straight about

fire code regulations and why

exactly I could not sit in the aisle

and, when I broke free,

thanks again for not

using your billy club

to break my kneecaps

as you were trained.

Your restraint is much appreciated.

To the girls

of the Swinging Door Saloon,

please accept this mea culpa

for slurping up your beauty

all day and night, only to argue

my bill, calling you a no-good,

thieving, purse-padding, drunk-rolling,

smoking-hot-fox of a cheat,

and thanks also,

for telling Big Red,

old Iron Knuckles himself,

to go easy on me as

he threw my ass to the curb.

Finally to you, Reader,

my newest, baddest-ass,

most-poetry-loving, least-highfalutin,


honest-to-goodness friend,

I apologize for making you

read this woeful

letter of regret, this sorry

excuse for a poem

all the way through,

even though the payoff

was minimal

and you received no mention

until its bitter end.

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