Clement Clarke Moore calls the Poetry Crisis Line on the Night Before Christmas

ROSIE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE: ‘Twas the night before Christmas
ROSIE: ‘Tis!
MOORE: When—
ROSIE: Right now!
MOORE: All through the house
ROSIE: All through the Western Hemisphere!

From “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore

Dana Gioia calls the Poetry Crisis Line

Happy Thanksgiving!

From “Poem 048: Thanks for Remembering Us” by Dana Gioia

KIM (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
DANA GIOIA (caller): The flowers sent here by mistake, Signed with a name that no one knew, Are turning bad. What shall we do?
KIM: Have you tried plant food?
GIOIA: Our neighbor says they’re not for her
KIM: Not for her—for the flowers. What about cutting the stems?
GIOIA: And no one has a birthday near.
KIM: You don’t need an occasion to get a trim.
GIOIA: We should thank someone for the blunder.
KIM: If you want to.
GIOIA: Is one of us having an affair?
KIM: I couldn’t answer that if I knew.
GIOIA: At first we laugh—and then we wonder.
KIM: Confidentiality, you understand.

A summary of the final 2020 Presidential Debate

Yeah, we may be kind of political for the next couple of weeks.

CHRIS WALLACE: You will meet two men. One always lies. One sort of tells the truth. I can’t tell you which is which because I work for Fox.
KRISTEN WELKER: [to Wallace] I got this. [to candidates]: Who would your opponent tell me to vote for?
WALLACE: I told you they were inscrutable.
WELKER: [serious side-eye]
TRUMP [internal monologue]: Nailed it!


Charles Simic calls the Poetry Crisis Line

Happy Labor Day from the Poetry Crisis Line!

From “Eyes Fastened with Pins” by Charles Simic

JERRY (COUNSELOR): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
SIMIC (CALLER): How much death works,
JERRY: I heard he’s not proud.
SIMIC: No one knows
JERRY: That’s just what I’ve heard.
SIMIC: what a long day he puts in.
JERRY: He’s been putting in overtime lately.
SIMIC: The little wife always alone ironing death’s laundry.
JERRY: Really?
SIMIC: The beautiful daughters setting death’s supper table.
JERRY: Strange. I heard he was a great equalizer.