W. S. Merwin calls the Poetry Crisis Line (continued)

PATIENCE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
W.S. MERWIN (caller): Listen,
PATIENCE: That’s what I’m here for.
MERWIN: With the night falling we are saying thank you.
PATIENCE: You’re welcome. Uh…for what?
MERWIN: We are stopping on the bridges
PATIENCE: Is there traffic behind you?
MERWIN: To bow from the railings.
PATIENCE: Just don’t lean over too far, OK?
MERWIN: We are running
PATIENCE: On the railings?
MERWIN: Out of the glass rooms
PATIENCE: Please tell me you’re not throwing stones.
MERWIN: With our mouths full of food.
PATIENCE: Are you trying to make me worry?
MERWIN: To look at the sky
PATIENCE: Why? What’s happening?
MERWIN: And
PATIENCE: Please don’t tell me they’re bombing the parking lot with turkeys?

 

W. S. Merwin calls the Poetry Crisis Line (part 1)

PATIENCE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
W.S. MERWIN (caller): Listen,
PATIENCE: That’s what I’m here for.
MERWIN: With the night falling we are saying thank you.
PATIENCE: You’re welcome. Uh…for what?
MERWIN: We are stopping on the bridges
PATIENCE: Is there traffic behind you?
MERWIN: To bow from the railings.
PATIENCE: Just don’t lean over too far, OK?
MERWIN: We are running
PATIENCE: On the railings?
MERWIN: Out of the glass rooms
PATIENCE: Please tell me you’re not throwing stones.
MERWIN: With our mouths full of food.
PATIENCE: Are you trying to make me worry?

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.