Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle And other poems
First Written 2020
Genre Poetry
Origin US
Publisher Random House
ISBN-10 0399589775
ISBN-13 978-0399589775
My Copy library copy
First Read June 12, 2022

Whale Day

Do you like Billy Collins? Here's MORE Billy Collins.

I really do like Billy Collins. The last few struck me as a bit self-parody-ish, but this collection seemed great to me. A few I love excerpted here!

Noted on June 14, 2022

Banana School

The day I learned that monkeys
sas well as chimps, baboons, and gorillas

all peel their bananas from the other end
and use the end we peel from as a handle,

I immediately made the switch.

I wasted no time in passing this wisdom on

to family, friends, and even strangers

as I am now passing it on to you—

a tip from the top, the banana scoop,

the inside primate lowdown.

I promise: once you try it

you will never go back except

to regret the long error of your ways.

And if you do not believe me,

swing by the local zoo some afternoon

with a banana in your pocket

and try peeling it in front of the cage

of an orangutan or capuchin monkey,

and as you begin, notice

how the monkeys stop what they’re doing,

if they are doing anything at all,

to nod their brotherly approval through the bars.

Better still, try it out on the big silverback gorilla.

See if you can get his dark eyes to brighten a bit

as the weight of him sits there in his cage

the same way Gertrude Stein is sitting

in that portrait of her she never liked by Picasso.

Quoted on June 14, 2022

Irish Spider

It was well worth traveling this far
just to sit in a box of sunlight
by a window in a cottage

with a steaming cup of tea
and to watch an Irish spider waiting
at the center of his dewy web

pretending to be just any spider at all—
a spider without a nation—
but not fooling me for a minute.

Quoted on June 14, 2022

A Terrible Beauty

April is the cruelest month . . .

If you happened to miss this year’s
Cruelest Month Competition,
it began with all twelve contestants
taking the stage together
in the order of the calendar year,
each dressed in outfits
that sang of their personalities—

March windblown and wet with rain,
October resplendent in red and orange.

Many wondered why April, a perennial loser,
would even bother to show up,

always smiling, daffodils

embroidered on her bodice.
Some blamed it on a poem she’d read somewhere.

Others followed her early elimination—
August with zinc slathered on her nose,
December looking like the Mother of God.

It must be said that no one was surprised
when the tuxedoed man with the microphone
finally announced this year’s winner,

the same as every year since its beginning.

Even though she’d shivered

during the swimsuit part

and stumbled when asked

how she planned to change the world,
February was the obvious choice.
I mean the Super Bowl’s over by then

and spring’s a mile away.

 What could be crueler?
as one guy put it.

And that was about it, except for the coronation.

There she stood, the only month on the stage,
crying a few chilly tears,

a thin smile frozen on her lips.

Then she bent her knees a little
so as to be less tall,

and some official placed on her head
her latest dripping, silvery crown of ice.

Quoted on June 14, 2022

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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