Sunday, July 08, 2018

The Vast Continent of the Ceiling

Billy Collins, Past US Poet Laureate

—Billy Collins

Enough tea and cigarettes have been consumed here
but no act of writing has been committed this
No words have been hauled from the dictionary
like pails of saltwater brought up from the sea.
The typewriter remains untouched on the table,
a strange, dark instrument whose secret purpose
was buried long ago, with its mad inventor.

Outside, the high branches of winter trees
bang and clack together like canes in the wind,
and as usual, if you are quiet and listen hard,
you can hear the rhythm section of human suffering
working steadily in the background.

But indoors, things have come to a standstill.
A thesaurus lies open by a curtainless window.
Nearby is a vase of pens, a perfectly bound notebook,
and there on the couch am I, exploring
the vast continent of the ceiling, hands
behind head in the first position of idleness.



Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back
to Medusa.