Call Me Fool concerns the misadventures of a character based on the fool archetype.
Trowbridge’s Fool is based on an archetype that runs from the beginnings of storytelling up to modern films (silent and sound), fiction, poetry, and stand-up comedy. He is combination schlemiel and shlimazel, alternately the spiller and the spilled-on. Often the scapegoat, he is, as St. Chrysostom put it, “he who gets slapped.” Trowbridge’s Fool, after blundering into hell with Lucifer and company, is reincarnated in various historical times, with occasional unplanned visits back to the heavenly realm, operated as a mega corporation by its Enron-style CEO. Trowbridge thought he was through with his not-so-distant relative after his collection came out, but the Fool is back again, none the wiser.
In his latest collection, Call Me Fool, William Trowbridge proves that you can’t keep a good Fool down. He proves again that he is one of America’s best and wittiest poets: funny, tender, wry, compassionate, full of insight and rueful understanding of what it means to live, cream pie in the face, pants falling down, as the Green Weenie rampages through our foolish, beautiful world. Stand with me, readers, and bellow, “I am Fool.”
—Charles Harper Webb, author of A Million MFAs Are Not Enough
William Trowbridge’s latest collection, Call Me Fool, is a trip through time from before history to after now. Charming, funny, irreverent, and a bit snarky, Fool ends up taking over for God, who’s taken “early retirement / to an unlisted galaxy where He plays golf // and watches Lamp Unto My Feet reruns.” Fool doesn’t do too bad a job of it either, concentrating on “April showers that bring May flowers,” but he does miss a lot—floods, famines, and assorted miseries. Bless William Trowbridge for giving us someone to blame! I love it.
—Alice Friman, author of Blood Weather