W. S. Merwin calls the Poetry Crisis Line (continued)

PATIENCE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
W.S. MERWIN (caller): Listen,
PATIENCE: That’s what I’m here for.
MERWIN: With the night falling we are saying thank you.
PATIENCE: You’re welcome. Uh…for what?
MERWIN: We are stopping on the bridges
PATIENCE: Is there traffic behind you?
MERWIN: To bow from the railings.
PATIENCE: Just don’t lean over too far, OK?
MERWIN: We are running
PATIENCE: On the railings?
MERWIN: Out of the glass rooms
PATIENCE: Please tell me you’re not throwing stones.
MERWIN: With our mouths full of food.
PATIENCE: Are you trying to make me worry?
MERWIN: To look at the sky
PATIENCE: Why? What’s happening?
MERWIN: And
PATIENCE: Please don’t tell me they’re bombing the parking lot with turkeys?

 

W. S. Merwin calls the Poetry Crisis Line (part 1)

PATIENCE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
W.S. MERWIN (caller): Listen,
PATIENCE: That’s what I’m here for.
MERWIN: With the night falling we are saying thank you.
PATIENCE: You’re welcome. Uh…for what?
MERWIN: We are stopping on the bridges
PATIENCE: Is there traffic behind you?
MERWIN: To bow from the railings.
PATIENCE: Just don’t lean over too far, OK?
MERWIN: We are running
PATIENCE: On the railings?
MERWIN: Out of the glass rooms
PATIENCE: Please tell me you’re not throwing stones.
MERWIN: With our mouths full of food.
PATIENCE: Are you trying to make me worry?

Flanders Fields a call from John McCrae

JOHN MCCRAE (caller): …that mark our place.
NED (counselor): Do you mean like a bookmark? Or our place on earth?
MCCRAE: And in the sky
NED: Glad to know you’re thinking about your place in Heaven, callerino.
MCCRAE: The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
NED: Those are brave birds, if the boy next door is out there with his slingshot.

Before I Kill You (an arch-villainelle) part 6 of 6

Before I Kill You (An Arch-Villainelle)

by David Sklar

Originally published in Stone Telling

Although I’m not particularly vain,
I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,
so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain

my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;
you won’t escape, no matter how you try.
It’s not that I’m particularly vain,

it’s just that after taking all these pains
I would like you to look me in the eye
before I kill you, so I can explain:

a cistern in the mountain gathers rain
through ducts in my enormous statue’s eye
(not that I am particularly vain).

It enters a robotic water main,
which, on command, can self-electrify.
Before I kill you, now, I will explain:

I’ve added some enhancements to my brain—
you’ll nev— What’s that? You’re out? Good grief! Good bye;
good riddance. It’s a good thing I’m not vain;
next time, before I kill you, I’ll explain.

 

  

Before I Kill You (an arch-villainelle) part 5 of 6

Before I Kill You
(an arch-villainelle)

[originally published in Stone Telling]
(parts 1-5 of 6)

Although I’m not particularly vain,
I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,
so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain

my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;
you won’t escape, no matter how you try.
It’s not that I’m particularly vain,

it’s just that after taking all these pains
I would like you to look me in the eye
before I kill you, so I can explain:

a cistern in the mountain gathers rain
through ducts in my enormous statue’s eye
(not that I am particularly vain).

It enters a robotic water main,
which, on command, can self-electrify.
Before I kill you, now, I will explain:

I’ve added some enhancements to my brain—
you’ll nev— What’s that? You’re out? Good grief! Good bye;

     

Before I Kill You (an arch-villainelle) part 4 of 6

Before I Kill You
(an arch-villainelle)

[originally published in Stone Telling]
(parts 1-4 of 6)

Although I’m not particularly vain,
I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,
so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain

my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;
you won’t escape, no matter how you try.
It’s not that I’m particularly vain,

it’s just that after taking all these pains
I would like you to look me in the eye
before I kill you, so I can explain:

a cistern in the mountain gathers rain
through ducts in my enormous statue’s eye
(not that I am particularly vain).

It enters a robotic water main,
which, on command, can self-electrify.
Before I kill you, now, I will explain:

I’ve added some enhancements to my brain—
you’ll nev—

Before I Kill You (an arch-villainelle) part 3

Before I Kill You
(an arch-villainelle)

[originally published in Stone Telling]
(parts 1-2 of 6)

Although I’m not particularly vain,
I’m sure you’d like to know how you will die,
so, first, before I kill you, I’ll explain

my brilliant plan. Don’t bother to complain;
you won’t escape, no matter how you try.
It’s not that I’m particularly vain,

it’s just that after taking all these pains
I would like you to look me in the eye
before I kill you, so I can explain:

a cistern in the mountain gathers rain
through ducts in my enormous statue’s eye
(not that I am particularly vain).