with apologies to Robert Hass and Louise Glück
No one writes poetry while they are the Poet Laureate of the United States, Charles Simic observes
Because who has the time? Writing a letter to the 95-year-old Poet Laureate of Arkansas can take an entire afternoon.
You do it by hand. You give yourself over to it, as you should, sharing your thoughts:
Green pepper slices on a white dish of bone.
The rainy streaming of grief.
That kind of thing. A sort of poetry but not an actual poem.
It’s a government conspiracy, Billy Collins says, taking a sip of his wine. A conspiracy to stop us from writing more poems.
That’s the trouble with poetry, he adds, and orders coffee with dessert:
a smoky tiramisu which we reverently agree is also a sort of poetry if not an actual religion.