Hearing Voices

Stop me hearing Billy Collins. He’s in my head.
And after I’ve googled some of his stuff and read
a busload of enough, his voice insinuates
itself on top of mine. And we conflate.Then, line by line,


our urbane drawl softly sidles into Kevin Spacey
-languid, wry:
probably in a polo-neck, his words a swizzle-stick
to the dry
Martini of the written page.It’s the disadvantage
of this Age:
the written word spoken in celebrity choruses
crowds us out
in everything we read, It whispers,it croaks, It shouts,
screams and yells:
a peeling crescendo of familiar strangers’ bells.


I gingerly poke around the pre-gramophone authors
to hear what sound the voiceless poets proffer.
Guzzled down in gulps, in non-prescription sky-high doses
to counteract the cacophony, a century of psychosis.


Through libraries, in ghostly silence, modernity mutters
in my ear,
for now, when I want to be alone I read the dead folk,
like Shakespeare.
If its not too late, and you’ve stumbled on this poor page by
chance or choice
and seek a solipsistic moment, please read- before you
hear my voice.

8 thoughts on “Hearing Voices

  1. nice…i dunno i like my poets still bleeding and those with a voice not just words on the page…billy is pretty cool…have actually heard him read…he is pretty funny at times…mary pointed out my fav lines as well…

    • When I write it’s mostly aimed at how it looks and feels on the page rather than how it sounds spoken aloud…for some reason am a bit wary of the spoken word, except those pieces that I write in Glaswegian dialect which are more to do with the local living history of our words,…thanks for the read 🙂

  2. i saw billy collins read one of his poems on youtube and just loved it..he has such a great sense for humor.. and yep..would love to hear you read this as well.. so for me..i love both..the dead and the living poets.. maybe the living a bit more as they write about the now..

  3. Like much of his stuff too…the reading of “Litany” on YouTube is mighty fine. This piece here was just a bit of doggerel I had trouble banging into shape, but had fun doing so.

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