Kilmer Watts makes his living teaching piano lessons, but when automatic pianos arrive in town, he realizes he’s out of a job. He spots a “Help Wanted” sign at the poem factory and decides to investigate — he’s always been curious about how poems are made.
The foreman explains that machines and assembly lines are used for poetry these days. So Kilmer learns how to operate the “meter meter” and empty the “clich bins.” He assembles a poem by picking out a rhyme scheme, sprinkling in some similes and adding alliteration.
But one day the machines malfunction, and there is a dramatic explosion at the poem factory. How will poetry ever survive?
Kyle Lukoff’s funny story, rich in wordplay, is complemented by Mark Hoffmann’s lively, quirky art. The backmatter includes definitions of poetic feet, types of poems (with illustrated examples) and a glossary of other terms. An author’s note explains the inspiration for the story.