I guess the illusion I am thinking about today is the illusion that Billy Collins sat down at his famous table next to his famous window surrounded by his famous wall paper and wrote his poem “I Ask You” in about five minutes, the same five minutes that I took to read his poem. That his poem was composed as a smooth complete lozenge ready to be consumed. That nothing was crossed out or erased, that there were no other possible choices for words. That the poem was inevitable and fell from his mind like a minted coin falling off the press. I sometimes think that one good poem can last a person a lifetime. Maybe that is actually how long it takes to write a poem, or at least that it took one’s whole life up to that point.

 A book of smooth lozenges:

 The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins

A window muse:

Window

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