The 411: Yesterday, while on the phone with my insurance company, I typed this as my Facebook status update:
All of our representatives are assisting other callers at this time. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line and your call will be handled in the order it was received.
Soon after, Mark Doty commented that these lines would "make for a fine pantoum" so I threw down the guantlet. The response was enthusiastic so we're opening up the contest here with the beautiful Design House Stockholm "Poem Cup" as first prize.
Here's the challenge: Write either a villanelle or a pantoum using the lines in bold, above. Submit your poem by midnight on Saturday, December 18, 2010 in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll post the best of the submissions and one lucky poet will win the cup.