William Carlos Williams Calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR     Poetry Crisis Line. What is your emergency?

CALLER:      I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox…

COUNSELOR:      This is the Poetry Crisis Line, sir. did you want Poison Control?

CALLER:      …and which / you were probably / saving / for breakfast.

COUNSELOR:      Did you mean to call the cafeteria? I can transfer you.

CALLER:      Forgive me.

COUNSELOR:     I’m not here to judge you, sir. What’s important is that you forgive yourself.

CALLER:      They were delicious…

COUNSELOR:      I’m glad to hear it.

CALLER:      …so sweet…

COUNSELOR:      And how this is a problem, sir?

CALLER:      …and so cold.

COUNSELOR:      I see. If the plums are too cold, you could try eating other types of fruit–if you feel you’re up for it. Do you dare to eat a peach?


The Ancient Mariner Calls the Poetry Crisis Line.

COUNSELOR     Poetry Crisis Line. What is your emergency?

CALLER:      Water…

COUNSELOR:      Are you thirsty, sir?

CALLER:      …water…everywhere…

COUNSELOR:      Are you on land? Is there a risk of drowning?

CALLER:      …and all the boards…

COUNSELOR:      I’m confused. There’s water on your floorboards?

CALLER:     …did shrink.

COUNSELOR:      I’m not a shrink. I’m working on my MFA.

CALLER:     Water…

COUNSELOR:      So you ARE thirsty?

CALLER:    …water everywhere…

COUNSELOR:      Oh, right. Haven’t we been over this?

CALLER:     …nor any drop to drink.

COUNSELOR:      Sir, I think you’ve had enough to drink already.

Hamlet Calls the Poetry Crisis Line – part 1

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, how may I help you?
CALLER: To be or not to be, that is the question…
COUNSELOR: Would you like me to transfer you to Existential Crises?
CALLER: …whether tis nobler in the mind to bear..
COUNSELOR: …OK, nobility of thought. That sounds like a poetry emergency.
CALLER: …the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…
COUNSELOR: You have an outrageous fortune? May I transfer you to our fundraising department? Our endowment is funded by the estates of top-grossing poets, which gives us a monthly operating budget of about $37.
CALLER: …or to take arms against a sea of troubles…
COUNSELOR: Got it. Mixed metaphor department. Let me just
CALLER:…and so, by opposing, end them.
COUNSELOR: Right. Transferring you to the deus ex machina desk.