Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reading Billy Collins on a park bench in Storm Lake, Iowa

The view across and along the lake is lovely.

Not particularly breathtaking
Unless you grew up on a Sioux County farm
Where corn and soybeans lead to the horizon
And the largest body of water is the Floyd River.

This setting would be peaceful, even prayerful
But for the constant rush of water down the snake-like tubes
And the blaring music from speakers and an occasional scream.

Rock and roll with lyrics I don't bother listening to
Country ballads alluding to a shot of whiskey and a cigarette
Hip-hop or Top 40 or what do we call this familiar tune
Except suitable for a Weird Al parady--is he still around?

"It's a beautiful day" finally makes the music rotation
And it really is.

A couple walks by
Not on a walk
But walking
Not holding hands--now that would be poetry--
But both wearing an iPhone on their arm with
Earplugs connected to their own music by a thin white strand.
And I wonder why.

Nothing to say to each other?

It's a beautiful day and it's a lovely view
But all this begs the question:
Why did I pick this particular place to read Billy Collins
And to write for no particular reason?

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