Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 7: Plumbing Supply Stores, Billy Collins, "Pinup"

Sometimes, I find a poem I like, and I write a blog post to fit it.  That' what I'm doing tonight.  I found the Billy Collins poem below, and I really liked it, so now I'm faced with the task of providing some kind of personal anecdote which relates to the poem.

When I was a kid, my father and brothers would often take me to garages and plumbing supply stores with them.  This was at a time when these establishments were outposts of manhood.  There was a clear "No Trespassing" sign in the doorway of these places for any woman who might think of crossing the threshold.  It was an all-guys' club.

To drive home this point, on the walls hung pinup calendars.  I remember them clearly.  By today's Internet porn standards, they were fairly tame.  Women in skimpy outfits lifting their derrieres toward the camera or artist, oozing a sort of innocent sexuality.  These pictures drove me crazy as a boy.  They were the only reasons that I went with my brothers sometimes, on the off chance that Miss July would be displaying more cleavage than Miss June.

Now, as an adult, I understand the objectification of women, and I would probably be a little shocked if I came across a pinup calendar in any public space.  The world is a much more enlightened place these days, and that's a good thing.

The point Saint Marty is trying to make here is that he really likes this poem.  That's all.


by:  Billy Collins

The murkiness of the local garage is not so dense
that you cannot make out the calendar of pinup
drawings on the wall above a bench of tools.
Your ears are ringing with the sound of
the mechanic hammering on your exhaust pipe,
and as you look closer you notice that this month's
is not the one pushing the lawn mower, wearing
a straw hat and very short blue shorts,
her shirt tied in a knot just below her breasts.
Nor is it the one in the admiral's cap, bending
forward, resting her hands on a wharf piling,
glancing over the tiny anchors on her shoulders.
No, this is March, the month of great winds,
so appropriately it is the one walking her dog
along a city sidewalk on a very blustery day.
One hand is busy keeping her hat down on her head
and the other is grasping the little dog's leash,
so of course there is no hand left to push down
her dress which is billowing up around her waist
exposing her long stockinged legs and yes the secret
apparatus of her garter belt. Needless to say,
in the confusion of wind and excited dog
the leash has wrapped itself around her ankles
several times giving her a rather bridled
and helpless appearance which is added to
by the impossibly high heels she is teetering on.
You would like to come to her rescue,
gather up the little dog in your arms,
untangle the leash, lead her to safety,
and receive her bottomless gratitude, but
the mechanic is calling you over to look
at something under your car. It seems that he has
run into a problem and the job is going
to cost more than he had said and take
much longer than he had thought.
Well, it can't be helped, you hear yourself say
as you return to your place by the workbench,
knowing that as soon as the hammering resumes
you will slowly lift the bottom of the calendar
just enough to reveal a glimpse of what
the future holds in store: ah,
the red polka dot umbrella of April and her
upturned palm extended coyly into the rain.


  1. I decided to tell him I wanted to bring back the exact model of my toilet to make sure before I put that much out. plumber

  2. I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people. Contractors