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  • The Telemarketer Calls Bashō About a Cure for the Winter Blues
  • Gabriel Welsch

Good evening, sir. I'm calling today to ask if you know anything about seasonal affective disorder.                     Winter seclusion—                     sitting propped against                     the same worn post Yeah, sort of. Never really heard it put that way before. You're quite, ummm—                     I would like to use                     that scarecrow's tattered clothes                     in this midnight frost Yeah, that's sort of it, too. You see, um, some people when they don't have light—                     Lonely silence,                     a single cicada's cry                     sinking into stone Uh, okay, what?                     Wet with morning dew                     and splotched with mud, the melon                     looks especially cool Are you listening To me? Do you understand? It's not a day or night . . . [End Page 34]                     Your song caresses                     the depth of loneliness,                     O high mountain bird Okay, that's enough.                     Even in Kyoto,                     how I long for Kyoto                     when the cuckoo sings You think you're so great, but I can do what you do, cryptic words. Small breaths.                     Hmmmph. Your bird flits. Wire                     to smoked sky, mindless as snow,                     all sun glare. No weight. I keep calling poets. You all do this, throw your words up like shields at me.                     Tremble, oh my gravemound,                     in time my cries will be                     only this autumn wind It's like you don't care to make sense. Why don't you work to defend your words?                     Snow's spin-lift, descent                     crush built high with little weights—                     hushed through such chatter



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