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  • The Telemarketer Calls a Poet She’s Actually Heard Once on NPR to Talk to Him About Relief From the Burden of High-Interest Credit Cards
  • Gabriel Welsch

Mr. Collins, I am calling today about an important opportunity for you to start paying down those high- interest credit cards and get on the road to good credit.                     I don't have credit card debt. Thank you. Now wait. I've read your poems, of your affinity for wine and bread's pleasures, for candlesticks and clutches of freesias, your taste for brocade, your love of solid furniture, your likely lingerie purchases.                     You know, don't you, not to take poems                     as biography, right? You can't just                     strap them down and beat from them                     the details of a poet's life. You know                     that, right? So they say. But you also write what you know, right? Clean out your attic, describe and collect what you find there?                     That's part of it. Then isn't it reasonable market research to have a look at your work and deduce you've had contact with lots of stuff at one point?                     Fair enough. You can assume my valise,                     too, is tooled leather, my books gilt-edged                     and leather as well, my dinners tidy opulences, [End Page 29]                     but if I told you, in a slight stutter, sotto                     voce, that I now had just finished a Big Mac                     and was preparing to watch Hannity and                     Colmes, to ignore the trifling sky                     and the corduroy hours of evening, would you                     frown, want to tousle my hair, tell me I'm                     being silly, ship me to bed? Or, are you                     the moth drawn to this flame, the spoon                     yearning to lie with the knife, the bureau                     drawer yawning to be filled with folds                     of colored socks and accidental change? You have a point, there.                     I usually do. I don't care how many                     condescending titters I hear. Not from me you don't.                     No. True. Never from you.



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