From the Notebooks of Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle, Undated.

The telephone: it rings, and when I answer,
Stark silence reigns: a silence like the grave—
An empty grave, with no dead person in it,
So that not even sounds of rotting flesh,
Weak as they are, disturb the lifeless hush,
The quiet of a grim eternity
Of emptiness—and I stand on the edge
Of the abyss, still bellowing my greeting
Into the boundless blackness of the depths,
Where it is swallowed up in nothingness.
But just before I utterly despair,
Light dawns, and hope returns: the universe
Basks in the glow of life: my empty ear
Fills up, and I hear sound—O blessed sound!—
A voice—a human voice—from Bangalore.