Mitch Sisskind: “Collected Poems 2005-2020”

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Author, Mitch Sisskind Photo by Alex Pieros.

A fiction writer turned poet, a ghost writer of sixty books, Mitch Sisskind, without losing his humor, has lived a writer’s life. A spiritual person, Sisskind finds cosmological joy in the human enterprise. He discusses writing humorous poetry and his new book, “Collected Poems 2005-2020." And he shares stories from being a student in the first class Kenneth Koch ever taught.

An excerpt from “Collected Poems 2005-2020," by Mitch Sisskind.


When she used the word bullnose to describe
The blunt
corner of a marble kitchen counter –
From that moment I was in love with Calliope
Because I saw a knowledge of carpentry which,
Although I had been unaware of it, I do find
Attractive in a woman whose slender arms
Disguise wiry strength just as her vocabulary
Unexpectedly includes a word like bullnose.
Another turn-on for me is a sylph-like woman
In a form-fitting wedding dress and therefore
I anticipate browsing Modern Brides magazine
With Calliope – notwithstanding how when I
Looked up bullnose in the dictionary it was
Defined as a disease of pigs. But no matter!

Collected Poems 2005-2020 Copyright 
© 2020 by Mitch Sisskind. Reprinted courtesy of Burrow Books.