Story of My Life
I woke this morning, and had in my mind
the segue I’ve been struggling to find:
I don’t know how I got from there to here
does everything I need it do, and adds
iambical pentameter. I swear,
It makes me happy. And it makes me sad:
A simple honest line I love so much
it’s tragic I can only use it once—
or maybe—can I make it a refrain
that I can use again? Again? Again?
Happy 165th birthday to Dr. Sigmund Freud!
COUNSELOR: Psychology Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
DR. FREUD (caller): Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
COUNSELOR: As opposed to what? A pocketknife?
COUNSELOR: Rock & Roll Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
LEONARD COHEN (caller): They sentenced me to 20 years of boredom
COUNSELOR: That sounds cruel & unusual. What was the charge?
COHEN: For trying to change the system from within.
COUNSELOR: Which administration?
COHEN: I’m coming now
COUNSELOR: Oh. That should just be 4 to 8 years of boredom.
COHEN: I’m coming to reward them.
COUNSELOR: That sounds premature. What are you getting them?
COHEN: First we take Manhattan
COUNSELOR: I thought they had New York locked down.
COHEN: Then we take Berlin!
COUNSELOR: But that’s not–…oh, wait. Do you mean the cities? Or, like…a cocktail and a jelly doughnut?
From the President’s Joint Address to Congress, April 28, 2021 (paraphrased in the presidential Twitter account).
COUNSELOR: Policy Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
PRESIDENT BIDEN (caller): Trickle-down economics has never worked.
COUNSELOR: So what do you think we should do about it?
BIDEN: It’s time to grow the economy from the ground up and the middle out.
COUNSELOR: Well said! Just once I’d like to hear someone in Washington say that.
Happy 1900th birthday to Marcus Aurelius!
ROSIE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
MARCUS AURELIUS (caller): You are a little soul, carrying about a corpse
ROSIE: Uh…wouldn’t that be the other way around?
MARCUS AURELIUS: as Epicetus used to say.
ROSIE: I haven’t read it. Transferring you to Epics.
PATIENCE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
AMANDA GORMAN (caller): There’s a poem in this place.
PATIENCE: Are you sure?
GORMAN: In the footfalls in the halls.
PATIENCE: Get outta there!
From “In This Place” by Amanda Gorman
KIM (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE (caller): Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?
KIM: No, this is the Poetry Crisis Line. But I do fly model planes on weekends.
From Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe. Read an excerpt here.
Does anyone else find it od
That Tygers come from the same God
Who also made Sheepe
& Sm. thinges that creepe
& Eagles & Beagles & Scrod?
The air’s only there where I’m not,
and that is the reason I’ve got
for moving around
(traversing the ground),
so I tend to do that a lot.
Read the original here.
JERRY (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
ANDREW MARVELL (caller): My vegetable love
JERRY: Are you into carrots? Cucumbers? I’m not judging.
MARVELL: shall grow
JERRY: Prize-winning zucchini?
MARVELL: vaster than empires
MARVELL: and more slow.
JERRY: That giant subterranean fungus in Oregon?