Gilgamesh calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: The one with one son: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: I don’t know. How would I recognize him?

CALLER: I have seen him.

COUNSELOR: Okay, what does he look like?

CALLER: He lies under the wall, weeping bitterly.

COUNSELOR: Since the election, that could be anyone.

CALLER: The one with two sons: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: Is this a different guy, or did the first one have another kid?

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: Great. What does he look like?

CALLER: He lives in a brick house and eats bread.

COUNSELOR: That’s not a lot to go on.

CALLER: The one with three sons: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: How should I know?

CALLER: He drinks from a waterskin filled from the deepest wells.

COUNSELOR: Everyone carries a water bottle these days.

CALLER: The one with four sons, have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: Have you?

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: Let me guess. He lives in a third-story walk-up and eats cold pizza?

CALLER: His heart rejoices.

COUNSELOR: Good to appreciate the simple things.

CALLER: The one with five sons,

COUNSELOR: That’s a lot of kids.

CALLER: Have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: He lives in a rent-controlled brownstone and drinks lots of coffee?

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: Who hasn’t?

CALLER: Like a good writer,

COUNSELOR: Yeah, writers drink lots of coffee.

CALLER: scribe to a king

COUNSELOR: Wait, were you actually talking about his handwriting?

CALLER: His hand is firm; he brings justice to the palace.

COUNSELOR: That must be some serious penmanship.

CALLER: The man with six sons

COUNSELOR: Do these boys have a mother? Because she must be seriously tired.

CALLER: Have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: Why, does he get around?

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: Good for you. Use protection.

COUNSELOR: Condoms, dental dams, you know.

CALLER: the man

COUNSELOR: Oh, right. He lives on the Upper West Side and shops at Whole Foods?

CALLER: who guides the plow,

COUNSELOR: A farmer who shops at Whole Foods?

CALLER: Pulled by four oxen

COUNSELOR: They must wreak havoc in the vegetable aisle.

CALLER: The one with seven sons,

COUNSELOR: He lives in a penthouse and has a reality show? I mean, seriously, seven sons?

CALLER: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: What channel is he on?

CALLER: Like a man close to the gods, he

COUNSELOR: Must pull in some serious ratings.

CALLER: sits upon a throne and listens to music.

COUNSELOR: What, like Simon Cowell? Never mind. Let me get this straight–you want me on the lookout for a man on horseback drinking water, a man in a brick house eating bread, a man in a minaret eating onions, a man in a glass house throwing stones, a wolf in a straw house eating pork, a hipster in Soho eating sushi, a guy in a pink house camping with melons, a man at a farm stand smashing pumpkins, a man at Whole Foods eating half a sandwich, a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Joe’s, and something about a vessel with a pestle. Was there anyone else?

CALLER: The man who fell from a rooftop

COUNSELOR: Oh good grief

CALLER: Have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: He lives in a house with a leaky, unpatched roof?

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: I have too. Had to take the landlord to court to get it fixed. You wouldn’t believe what a pain that was.

CALLER: His broken bones do not mend in the places below.

COUNSELOR: Okay, maybe you would believe.

CALLER: The one who died a sudden death: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: You mean walking around?

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: Was he in Penn Station? I’ve seen a few people in the terminal who look like…

CALLER: He sleeps at night on a couch and drinks pure water.

COUNSELOR: That’s good to know.

CALLER: The one who was slain in battle: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: I’ve been to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Does that count?

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: Of course you have.

CALLER: His father raises his head and his wife tends the corpse.

COUNSELOR: That sounds more like the Pieta of the Unknown Soldier.

CALLER: The one whose body was thrown into the wasteland:

COUNSELOR: Malory’s Wasteland, or Eliot’s?

CALLER: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: I once saw a bog mummy in the Museum of Natural History.

CALLER: I have.

COUNSELOR: Is there anyone you haven’t seen?

CALLER: His spirit does not rest in the underworld.

COUNSELOR: He looked awfully serene behind glass.

CALLER: The one whose spirit has no one left alive to love him: have you seen him?

COUNSELOR: No, but I bet you have.

CALLER:         I have.

COUNSELOR: Nailed it.

CALLER: The left-overs of the pot, the scraps of bread thrown into the gutter / he eats.

COUNSELOR: Does he observe the five-second rule?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *