James Baldwin calls the Poetry Crisis Line


COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: This flag has been planted on the moon:

COUNSELOR: It has? And how did you end up with it?

CALLER: it will be interesting to see

COUNSELOR: You don’t know?

CALLER: what steps the moon will take to be revenged

COUNSELOR: On the Commander of Cheese?

CALLER: for this quite breathtaking presumption.

COUNSELOR: Ironic—to be breathtaking on the moon.


James Baldwin, born August 2, 1924, would have been 94 today. Read the rest of the poem Staggerlee Wonders here. (Note: poem contains offensive language and some controversial ideas.)