William Carlos Williams re-calls the Poetry Crisis Line

COUNSELOR: Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?

CALLER: My wife’s new pink slippers
have gay pom-poms.

COUNSELOR: Is it any of your business? And how can you tell?

CALLER: There is not a spot or a stain
on their satin toes or their sides.

COUNSELOR: Hmm. But they could be metrosexual.

CALLER: All night they lie together
under her bed’s edge.

COUNSELOR: OK, that’s more convincing. But slippers just stay together.

CALLER: Shivering I catch sight of them

COUNSELOR: Oh!

CALLER: and smile,

COUNSELOR: I’m glad you’re comfortable with it. But please don’t watch them. They may want their privacy.

 

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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?