Iowa Writes

The New High-Tech Telephone Number of the Muse
(With Thanks to Donald Justice)

It's unlisted now, but years ago
you could find it, even on the wall
of the men's room of a certain tavern
in Iowa City: "For a good rhyme
call 1-800-843-
6873." Dial it
today, you'll get a standard "The number
you have reached is not in service."

I tried to call her on my wife's cell,
but, like a maiden in a tower, she couldn't
hear me, and I took a roaming charge.

Used to be, you could get her anytime,
if she was in, but she'd never call back
if I left a message on her machine.
And when I tried again, last night,
her end-carrier cut right in:
"This number is on the no-call list."

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

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Born in Council Bluffs in 1940, Robert Berner was a student in the Poetry Workshop in the 60s, working with Don Justice, Marvin Bell and George Starbuck. He currently lives in New Haven with Cecelia, his wife of 40 years, and publishes poems occasionally in literary magazines.

This page was first displayed
on May 17, 2006

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