Robert Burns calls the Poetry Crisis Line

Happy 262nd birthday to Robert Burns! This would have been our second apolitical post this month, if Bernie hadn’t photobombed the featured image.

Read the rest of Address to a Haggis here in the original and in modern English.


ROSIE (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
ROBERT BURNS (caller): Fair fa’ your honest, soonsie face,
ROSIE: Uh…thank you?
BURNS: Great chieftain o’ the puddin’ race!
ROSIE: You race puddings? What kind of track do you use?

The Cure at Troy call the Poetry Crisis Line (part 2)

See Part 1 here (or see the 3 pages together below).


Congratulations to newly inaugurated President Joe Biden (who quoted from the same play in his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention). May we all make it through the lengthy healing process.

JERRY (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
THE CURE (chorus): Human beings suffer
JERRY: Philosophers have written a great deal on the question of why people suffer.
THE CURE: They torture one another
JERRY: That is one reason.
THE CURE: They get hurt and get hard.
JERRY: As long as it’s consensual.
THE CURE: No poem or play or song can fully right a wrong inflicted and endured.
JERRY: So we’re talking about a lengthy healing process?

Excerpted from The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney

Winnie the Coup

Happy 138th birthday to A.A. Milne!


POOH: The election was stolen from us, by which I mean that they counted all of the votes, when if they had only counted some of them, we would have one, and oh bother, that didn’t come out the way I intended, by which I mean that it is what I meant but not what I wanted you to hear, but if we all throw a big enough tantrum, then maybe they might just let us win?

OWL’S SIGN: I can spel 2sday!

Ozymandias calls the Poetry Crisis Line as William Carlos Williams eats a tire.

WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
OZYMANDIAS (caller): Look on my works, ye mighty , and DESPAIR!
WILLIAMS: I have eaten de spare that was in the icebox.

Any resemblance between Ozymandias and actual arrogant despots approaching irrelevancy is purely intentional.

The weird are my people—but #NotAllWeirdos


Artist’s note:

A professional artist I met while in high school once told me never to apologize for my own work. But I sometimes make an exception when something might be misconstrued. So I need to clarify that my intent here is not to ridicule anyone for weirdness. Weird is wonderful. Weird makes the world a more beautiful and wonderful place. But seeing my kind of weird used in service of insurrection and attempting to overturn a legitimate US election, I felt violated, and I drew this. Weird is wonderful, but treason is treason.

Transcript for the visually impaired

Buffalo gals, won’t you
come out tonight,
come out tonight,
come out tonight?
Buffalo gals, won’t you
come out tonight
and clash like a right-wing baboon?

Q sent me
[picture of Q*bert]

I’m Donald J. Trump and I approve of these methods.

If all poems were limericks: “Cat’s Canticle” by David Sklar

If all poems were limericks: “Cat’s Canticle” by David Sklar

If you speak I won’t answer at all;
don’t expect me to come when you call.
It’s a sort of a game—
see, I’ve hidden my name
someplace secret, and silent, and small.


I may eventually post something relevant to yesterday’s events. But today is my birthday, so I am featuring myself.

Read the original here.