Monday, February 3, 2014

poem of the day 02.03.14

television sets in bars

friday afternoon
and we’re surrounded by cancer
yet this bar is no respite

there’s a television at one end of the bar
another directly across the room

they are playing this medical show
with some floppy haired doctor
telling everyone in earshot and beyond
that caramel coloring could give you cancer

i can’t even enjoy a beer because of this guy
because of the way the televisions echo in the bar
like we’re in a club full of old degenerates

i can’t even hear myself think, i tell my wife
then i start my shit where i just close off and sit there

i don’t know what i wanted
a quiet friday afternoon for me and the mrs.
to get drunk on beer and talk movies and books
forget cancer and this unforgiving winter

if only for a few hours

but now i got this doctor blaring in my ear
about carcinogenic gases from soda and from frying potatoes

maybe next he’ll talk about how the air
can give you cancer

i down my first pint
i have to get the out of here, i tell my wife

it’s these television sets in bars
they weren’t so bad when they were small and tubular
and hung off into the distance

now every joint has some sixty-inch monster
that we’re stuck with
that permeates every nuance of the moment

i feel like i’m in an electronics store instead of a pub
it’s background noise, my wife says
these people are used to it

it’s giving me an aneurysm,  i complain
while the floppy haired doctor tells us
how cleaning supplies can give you cancer too

he’s a smiling angel of death

he’s raising my ire
and this echo off the dueling televisions is raising my heart rate

i’m playing music, my wife says
because she’s better at salvaging things than i am

i grow too content with the rot and the decline

she gets up from the bar to slide dollars in the juke
she asks the bartender to turn the televisions down
and he acquiesces with glee

because maybe he was looking for an escape from this malaise

life is really that simple at moments, i think
even with it being cancer all the time

then it’s the opening of street fighting man
and another round of beer

old men are doing their best mick jagger
talking about the old times

it’s like we all woke up

on the television, the floppy haired doctor
is holding up an apple
that’s probably going to give us all cancer too

but we wouldn’t know it
because we can’t hear him

and ignorance like this
is finally bliss.


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