This is the opening of Billy Collins’ “The Long Day” in the November issue of Poetry:
In the morning I ate a banana
like a young ape
and worked on a poem called “Nocturne.”
In the afternoon I opened the mail
with a short kitchen knife,
and when dusk began to fall
I took off my clothes,
put on “Sweethearts of the Rodeo”
and soaked in a claw-footed bathtub.
Excuse me for asking, but what makes this a poem? Not much, I imagine, other than the placeholder idea that “Billy Collins is a Poet.” (Therefore, anything he writes must be a poem.) Of course, the acclaim doesn’t hurt, either.
And there is hand-wringing over the fact that the only way a journal like Poetry can stay afloat is with a posthumous deus ex machina gift from a generous donor? Seriously: Why should anyone care about poetry or read it if all it is anymore is self-indulgent crap?