“All Dressed in Green” by Peter Krass

Peter Krass


In the latest issue of Quagmire I find 7 new poems by Billy Collins.
In the new Kiss My Quarterly, 12 poems by Billy Collins.
Coming soon in Broken Meter, 18 poems by Billy Collins.
On NPR radio, Billy Collins reads “Wish I’d Written That.”
In my sleep, Billy Collins stars in a major motion picture
Directed by Billy Collins, produced by Billy Collins,
And featuring a supporting cast of thousands of Billy Collinses.

Tonight, at my local Barnes & Starbucks,
Billy Collins is giving a reading,
So naturally I go, all dressed in green,
Color of envy, money, and snot.
Other striving poets fill nearly every seat,
Each wearing something green,
Each moving their lips as they quietly pray,
“O gods of poetry, whoever you are,
Please let a magic morsel fly
From the mouth of Billy Collins
And infect me, like a virus,
With whatever he has: The virus
Of being published,
The virus of selling books,
The virus of success.”

I sneer at them: “Stupid poets,”
I say, “That’s not how life works.”
But when Billy Collins appears at last,
Smiling and nodding, clearing his throat,
I find my seat in the very front row,
Open my mouth as wide as it goes,
And breathe.

from Rattle #33, Summer 2010
Tribute to Humor


Peter Krass: “With my own poems superbly insulating a couple of desk drawers, I couldn’t help but notice how my favorite literary journals were being dominated by just a few well-known poets. The same six or seven names seemed to be everywhere, taking up all the literary oxygen and leaving none for me. Suffocation being a strict taboo in my religion, I instead wrote ‘All Dressed in Green’ and have been breathing freely ever since.”

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