Saturday, June 28, 2014

For Billy

I was reading Ruth Schwartz's book, Dear Good Naked Morning (very good), when I stumbled upon the word cicada.

for Billy Collins

And he that shall remain nameless
un-digs his own grave
every three or thirteen or seventeen years.

And he that shall remain nameless
leaves his coat of armor on tree trunks
on stones, on the roofs of cars.

And he that shall remain nameless
eats of the leaves of the land
and of the grasses of the field
and his chewing is a plague upon man.

And he that shall remain nameless
claps its sides and sings and louder sings.
And it is his own name he sings.
But we shall not.


Anybody know how I can send it to him?


  1. Pretty great. :)

    Consider naming it Cicada. Much more meaning to people who won't get the "I hate that word" reference. Also proves the theory that a good poem can include that word.

    He's a professor at City University New York. If you send it there addressed to him I bet he'll get it.

  2. I just now found my typos in this poem: "rename" instead of "remain". Ouch. I sent it to Billy. He said it was hilarious but he had the grace not to mention my typos. C'est la vie.