Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No offense

to the ones I have, but I need a new group of friends with whom to converse daily. Ones who don't have Christmas vacation plans to visit far destinations -- Costa Rica, Santa Fe, Fiji, Bora Bora, Sedona --  I hate to admit it, but my brown eyes are turning green. Call me if you're staying home, in your too small house with way too much crap, whiling away the days while The Husband administers to The Mistress (and if you're a troll of the political persuasion, yeah, yeah, I know I'm blessed in so many ways so don't get your panties in a wad at how petulant I sound).

I guess it's time to haul out the Billy Collins:


How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hill towns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every road sign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.

There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon's
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.

How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyed camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?

Instead of slouching in a cafe, ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.

And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car
as it it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.


  1. Well, I'm not going anywhere. Actually, don't want to go anywhere (until spring). So, if you can take a political progressive, I'm your girl.


  2. We'll be hosting the Christmas day gathering at our house, potluck style. I like having it here.

    Great poem. He is a character, even though he thinks kids can't understand his work. Bah!

  3. We are staying home for the holidays. Our house is too small, and DEFINITELY a mess. :)

  4. I'm in exotic Mesa, AZ right now. No other holiday travel plans.
    I love that poem.

  5. Love Billy Collins.

    Love that there is someone else who is going nowhere over the holidays.

    I'll talk to you anytime.

  6. Love Billy Collins.

    One of my co-workers is going to Switzerland. She was in South America last month. I wished her well but felt my face going a bit green.

    I will be traveling to the exotic Next State, then will come home to my impossibly tiny house.

    Glad to be in good company.

  7. I'd like to steal, copy, takeover your Billy Collins poem for after Christmas--sort of a post-holiday newsletter.


  8. small house. way too much crap. not going anywhere. and i love the poem, too...

  9. At home.Definitely AND I do believe you know exactly where to find me or at the very least I,you.And,I definitely know where to find the "mistress".My husbands "mistress" actually resides not far from yours.Perhaps they should get together.

    Anyway.Yep,we are at home.We'll converse for sure.

  10. staying at home. in-laws coming. this place will be a disaster zone. we don't even have a tree up yet. or cards out. husband working all the time (he's in shipping...and guess what...people like to ship a lot this time of year).

  11. we're headed out of town - to the tropical suburbs of Dallas, TX. Where the grandparents will no doubt overload us with more giant plastic crap for the boys which we then get to stuff into our already-bursting-at-the-seams, looks-more-like-a-daycare-than-a-house house.

  12. I was telling someone last night how I sleep with my two fans and the window open and the two comforters and the five pillows and my little dog and I said, "No wonder I never want to leave home."
    I heard Billy Collins on Prairie Home Companion on Saturday night and it was good.

  13. Oh I get that! I have friends who live in California...with 80 friggin degree weather and we have 800 feet of snow here! (you know I am teasing, I hope)

  14. I think I love Billy Collins, thank you for sharing this.

    And me, I'm staying at home, in Edmonton, buried under snow, sliding around on slippery roads, wondering once again why I live so far north.

  15. We are staying home. Doing lots of laundry, hoping we can stop running the AC. I am hoping to convince my kids to record a few Christmas songs for me...But I would love to come visit you and we would drink tea and do some crafts or art with the kids and sing songs, and Sophie would love to hear all of us sing to her. We would sing carols, starting with your first one and ending with your most recent...or would we? But I will come visit you, hopefully when we are there this summer.
    PS music giveaway over here a couple of days left...

  16. oh, dear. i know that feeling. to hear all these amazing news and happenings, and feeling jealous (and bad about that too).

    i'm going to denmark to visit family. which is awesome, but i still know that feeling. and you've got to fill me in on where i get an introduction to The Mistress. who is she? what is he doing, that husband of yours?

  17. Christmas here is me, my dog, my cats, my toolbox, and all the repairs I can't afford to have done by professionals so I have to figure them out myself.

  18. ok - you eat a breakfast burrito out of a roach coach for me ..... and I'll grab a latte and wave at the space needle for you .... it'll be a vicarious and friendly way to travel the world :)

  19. not even Bologna!
    Perfect. I LOVE Billy Collins.
    And you.
    I'm not going anywhere. I don't even have any days off, except Christmas Eve Day and it's my shortest work day anyhow.
    Oh well.

  20. I'm not going anywhere for the holidays.
    I'm hosting Christmas dinner for 15.

    I am home from a short little trip. We have yet to get our tree...

    Billy Collins is always perfect.

  21. I have always loved that poem. I'm with you, sistah.



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