Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Billy and Me

What are the chances,

Billy? - Your name

and mine in the same

front page article of

The Democrat & Chronicle –

Mine - for hanging out

at the Jazz Festival;

Yours - for being the

renowned poet whose

book I brought along.

A D&C reporter, usually

a food writer, singled me

out from the throngs arriving

at the Rochester International

Jazz Festival, to ask, of all things,

what I was carrying in my tote bag.

Auspiciously, I pulled out your book,

Billy Collins, The Trouble With Poetry:

And Other Poems, to her delight, as well

as mine. I had been ransacking my

brain, for a time, unsure where I’d

left you– wasn’t my name there

inside the cover? My acupunc-

turists’ other clients must be

thrilled to have your poems,

instead of used magazines,

to read, while waiting to be

needled, I thought. Or did I

leave you at Muddy Waters

Coffee? Those lucky stiffs.

Eyeing my decorative tote,

the food reporter probed –

“What else did you bring?”

She was probably hoping for

avocado sushi, paired with lime-

drenched mango slices or kiwi.

I removed some Kleenex, which,

I wish I had said was for moments

when the music would move me to

tears. Then I pulled out an Acme pen,

a Moleskin journal, a copy of Email

to Cleveland, a pair of Lauren sun-

glasses, a blue hooded rain jacket.

The one item I did not reveal,

and I will share this with you,

Billy, was a fine glass of wine,

concealed in a green tea bottle.

Have you noticed how similar

in color, Australian Chardonnay

can be to Arizona Green Tea?

Here’s to you, Billy Collins,

for sharing the front page –

with me. Here’s to you,

and to Jazz, and to tea.

No comments: