A.M. Juster


The Psychic Hotline Walkout

Call after call, low pay, high stress—
then months on strike without success.
Soon scabs were working every phone
as clients said, “They should have known.”

Martha’s Vineyard Cop Show

Each week Lieutenant Thomas Heid defeats
the hoodlums of Menemsha’s meanest streets.
Lockjawed interrogations end this way:
“At Prinshton in my day we used to say…”
(much like Columbo’s line “Just one more thing…”).
It keeps both crooks and colleagues wondering
until relentless loops of Carly Simon songs
compel a suspect to confess his wrongs.

Brash Harvard Law professors stepping in
at trial can’t begin to get a win,
although they get exposure on the news.
Illegal fishing, fake designer shoes,
joyrides in golfcarts, kids with alcohol—
the good lieutenant investigates them all.
His ratings rise and crime, while high, is down;
Nantucket lowlifes dare not come to town.

A.M. Juster‘s eleventh book, a translation of Petrarch’s Canzoniere, will be out shortly from W.W. Norton. His first children’s book, Girlatee, will be published by Paul Dry Books in 2024. He overtweets about formal poetry & translation @amjuster.