Lucie Brock-Broido calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: Soon the electrical wires will grow heavy under the snow.

COUNSELOR: Are they over your house?

CALLER: I am thinking of fire

COUNSELOR: That is a concern.

CALLER: of the possibility of fire

COUNSELOR: That’s a meta-concern.

CALLER: & then / moving

COUNSELOR: So a really bad fire, if it makes your house uninhabitable.

CALLER: Across America

COUNSELOR: A fire that makes your state uninhabitable? Where are you calling from?

CALLER:  in a car with a powder blue dashboard,

COUNSELOR: Right. Good that you got out of that house.

CALLER: Moving to country music

COUNSELOR: Uh… “know when to walk away, know when to run”?

CALLER: & the heart

COUNSELOR: “is a lonely hunter”?

CALLER: Is torn a little more

COUNSELOR: So, kind of the same.

CALLER: because the song says the truth.

COUNSELOR: Wait—when your house burned down, did you lose your truck, your dog, your job, and your man? And are you drunk? Or bowling?

CALLER: Because in the thirty-six things that can happen

COUNSELOR: In country/western songs?

CALLER: To people,

COUNSELOR: Of course. It were about robots it’d be technopop. Or industrial. Or maybe something by Rush.

CALLER: men & women,

COUNSELOR: That’s usually how it works in country songs.

CALLER: women & women,

COUNSELOR: Are you listening to k.d. lang? Brandy Clark?

CALLER: Men & men,

COUNSELOR: Ty Herndon? Shane McAnally?

CALLER: in all these things

COUNSELOR: It’s not just about their things, you know.

CALLER: the soul is bound

COUNSELOR: Yes, exactly.

CALLER: To be broken

COUNSELOR: No, it’s not about that. It’s perfectly natural. A person doesn’t have to be broken–

CALLER: somewhere along the line,

COUNSELOR: Well, I guess everyone has to be broken somewhere along the line…


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