J. Alfred Prufrock calls the Poetry Crisis Line

ROSIE (COUNSELOR): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
J. ALFRED PRUFROCK: Should I part my hair behind?
ROSIE: What you do with your behind in private is your business. No matter how hairy it is.
PRUFROCK: Do I dare to eat a peach?
ROSIE: Wash your hands first.
PRUFROCK: I shall wear white flannel trousers and walk upon the beach.
ROSIE: If it makes you comfortable. But don’t be ashamed of your hairy behind.

Read the original here. Or check out this exquisite illustrated version by Julian Peters.

The Queen of Cheese Presents: Excerpt from “The Soiree of the Pig and the ‘Phibian” (in Old Possum’s Practical Puppets)

A pig and a frog do not usually mate,

But once in a while they go on a date–

After all, they’re accustomed to staying up late

From working together on network TV

That anyone raised in the ‘80s might see

(And green’s not the easiest color to be),

So they go to the clubs ‘til a quarter to three,

And they

hop hop hop hop

hop hop HOP HOP

And neither one wishes the evening would stop.

T.S. Eliot calls the Poetry Crisis Line on Ash Wednesday

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: Because I do not hope to turn again

COUNSELOR: Could I get you to pull over before you continue this call?

CALLER: Because I do not hope

COUNSELOR: No, it’s for your own safety.

CALLER: Because I do not hope

COUNSELOR: Whatever it is, it can’t be completely hopeless. What is it you’re hoping for?

CALLER: to turn

COUNSELOR: Is there a lot of traffic? Just pull over now, and make the turn once you’re off the phone.

CALLER: Desiring this man’s gift

COUNSELOR: Are you gift shopping? If you’re in a mall parking lot, I can understand why turning seems hopeless.


COUNSELOR: Is it a close friend? What are you planning to get him?

CALLER: that man’s scope

COUNSELOR: Used mouthwash? As a gift?

CALLER: I no longer strive

COUNSELOR: No kidding.

CALLER: to strive toward such things.

COUNSELOR: Yeah, you’ve seriously stopped trying.


COUNSELOR: Because it’s a gift. A present should be something…you know, … something someone will actually want.

CALLER: Should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)

COUNSELOR: That’s more imaginative than used mouthwash, I’ll grant you. But, um, when it comes to gift ideas, you might also want to steer clear of endangered species.