The Weather

Awkward Moments in Western Poiesis

…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

—from “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost, 1916

 

ROBERT FROST’S GIRLFRIEND: Where have you been? It’s 3 AM.

ROBERT FROST: I got lost.

ROBERT FROST’S GIRLFRIEND: What?

ROBERT FROST: I took a different road home.

ROBERT FROST’S GIRLFRIEND: Which one?

ROBERT FROST: The one less traveled by.

ROBERT FROST’S GIRLFRIEND: You mean Pine Street?

ROBERT FROST: Sure. Yeah. That one. Whatever.

ROBERT FROST’S GIRLFRIEND: Is that lipstick on your collar?

ROBERT FROST: …

 

***

 

Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

—from “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, 1845

 

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S GIRLFRIEND: Hey, Edgar?

EDGAR ALLAN POE: Yes?

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S GIRLFRIEND: You know that I’m your girlfriend, right? If you need to talk about stuff, you can talk to me.

EDGAR ALLAN POE: Yep.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S GIRLFRIEND: Not a bird.

EDGAR ALLAN POE: Ok.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S GIRLFRIEND: Because birds don’t talk. Right, Edgar?

EDGAR ALLAN POE: Of course.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S GIRLFRIEND: Edgar, is that a feather on your pillow?

EDGAR ALLAN POE: …

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S GIRLFRIEND: Edgar?

EDGAR ALLAN POE: Nevermore.

 

***

 

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

—from “Sonnet 18,” by William Shakespeare

 

SHAKESPEARE’S GIRLFRIEND: Do you think I’m pretty?

SHAKESPEARE: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

SHAKESPEARE’S GIRLFRIEND: No. Just tell me if you think I’m pretty.

SHAKESPEARE: That’s what I was doing…

SHAKESPEARE’S GIRLFRIEND: Oh really? Because it sounded like you were deflecting with a question.

SHAKESPEARE: I was comparing you to a summer’s day—

SHAKESPEARE’S GIRLFRIEND: Is it a pretty summer’s day?

SHAKESPEARE: Thou art more lovely and more temperate—

SHAKESPEARE’S GIRLFRIEND: What does that even mean?

SHAKESPEARE: That you’re lovely—

SHAKESPEARE: Can you just answer me straight for once? Cut the bullshit poetry and just answer me. Do you think I’m pretty?

SHAKESPEARE: …

SHAKESPEARE’S GIRLFRIEND: …

SHAKESPEARE: You’ve got a great personality.

Paul Laudiero lives in New York City. He wrote a book called Sh*t Rough Drafts which is in stores now. His work has appeared in McSweeney's and other places. Follow him on Twitter: @shitroughdrafts