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    • POEM: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes by Billy Collins (11/11/2012 2:19:00 AM)

      Putting Billy Collin's Clothes Back On

      First, the stained boxer shorts
      To cover his flabby white ass
      He tries to pretend he is not blushing
      I can plainly hear him gasp in the cold air

      I can't help smirking
      He looks like a little weenie naked
      No loaded gun there
      Perhaps he needs
      An introduction to poetry

      Next, the brown sock
      And the mismatched black sock
      Taken from the pile
      Of odiferous clothing
      Mounded behind his door

      I suppose poets think they are showing respect
      When they take a dead poet's name
      And create a rag-doll character out of thin air
      Stripping it naked to sell a poem
      Miss Emily would not approve

      Now he puts on the ill-fitting white shirt
      Sighing with relief as he covers his torso
      Just as his readers sigh with relief
      When he is fully clothed
      He still looks a bit uncomfortable
      Being a puppet to another poet's whims

      I toss him the faded blue jeans
      The ones with the hole in the rear
      He hurriedly tugs them on, tucking in his shirt
      In his haste, he knocks an ugly framed photo
      Of nine horses off the wall, breaking it
      No loss there

      Finally he puts on his hush puppies
      And his dark blazer, at last looking semi-professorial
      I think he is beginning to sympathize now
      With Miss Emily, and all of the other dead poets
      Whose names and characters
      Are appropriated by lesser lights
      To sex up their poetry