Robert Frost

The Telephone

(Martin Johnston said that if you want to communicate use the telephone.) —John Tranter To phone and not to speak. Hello HelloHello HelloHelloHello Slam! To heavy. To ulcerate. To terroize at 2am. To alibi not to alimony. To lie, of course—hidden by fifty by fifty storeys, hills, a mountain range. Not to mention Federation. No faces. No grimaces. To stall with a phone and a natural resource— time, until upturning dollars or the next ice age or both freezing dole queues and apologies. Dial God. You’ll have the Bible on tape. The line’s been dead for two thousand years. Your Christmas greetings can be to wherever you don’t want to be for Christmas. To hoax. To false alarm. To flush out a corporation’s nerve centre in ten minutes without even a handbook on explosives.