Leonard Cohen calls the Rock & Roll Epidemiology Line

DR FAUCI (counselor): Poetry Epidemiology Line, what is your public health crisis?
LEONARD COHEN (caller): If you want a lover, I’ll
do anything you ask me to.
FAUCI: Will you get vaccinated?
COHEN: And if you want a different kind of love, I’ll wear a mask for you.
FAUCI: That’s what I’m asking everyone to do, yes.

How Many Poets Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb? 13. Edgar Allan Poe

Poets answer another age-old question

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?

13. Edgar Allan Poe

As I waken, quite hung over,
And I shamble to the stove, or
Coffee pot, or other spot
Where I might sit and mull,
I am met with dreadful luck: my
Eyes are in that moment struck by
The harsh illuminations of bulbs! bulbs! bulbs!

How Many Poets Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb? 12. Longfellow

Come listen, my children, for I’ve begun
The tale of Thomas Edison.
He had a staff of eighty men,[1]
Took credit for work done by them.
He paid them squat, he called them muckers,
And, every minute, hired a sucker.

Amongst the things his team invented
Were light bulbs, tungsten filamented.
(There were electric lights in use,
But few that could be mass produced.)
They’d tried with other kinds of wick,
But all of those burned out too quick:
Coconut fiber, fishing line,
Tendrils from a kudzu vine,
Baywood, boxwood, hickory,
Cedar, cheddar, chicory,
Bamboo, and even human hair,[2]
Until someone thought to suck out the air,
And with a vacuum, cased in glass,
Changed the world from candles to light bulbs, en masse.

[1]The number of “muckers” working for Thomas Edison varied, and was occasionally as many as 200.

[2]Edison’s lab tested thousands of fibers, including most of those listed. I did not find specific reference to chicory or kudzu, although neither is implausible. It is unlikely they used any type of cheese.


Michael Stipe calls the Rock & Roll Crisis Line, part 2

View Part 1 here.

MICHAEL STIPE (caller): I’m breaking through,
MOE (counselor): Did you ask the elephant for help?
STIPE: I’m bending spoons,
MOE: Also no problem for an elephant.
STIPE: I’m planting flowers in full bloom.
MOE: I don’t think an elephant would be good at that.
[VISUAL: Elephant in a gardening hat, unaware that she is trampling freshly planted flowers.]
STIPE: I’m looking for answers from the great–
MOE: The Great Gatsby? Great Expectations? Grated cheese?
STIPE: answers from The Great Beyond.
MOE: The astral plane? The aethereal plane? The microplane?

Michael Stipe calls the Rock & Roll Crisis Line, part 1

MOE (counselor): Rock & Roll Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
MICHAEL STIPE (caller): I’m pushing an elephant up the stairs.
MOE: Uh…
STIPE: I’m tossing out punch lines
MOE: Right. Uh…don’t stand too close behind an elephant.
STIPE: that were never there.
MOE: It’s a good place not to be. It could get messy.
STIPE: Over my shoulder
MOE: Your shoulder, your face, everywhere.
STIPE: a piano falls
MOE: Wait, are you describing a dream?
STIPE: crashing to the ground.
MOE: Because that sounds a bit like a REM state.