Monday, February 23, 2015

poem of the day 02.23.15

television blues

the two women on the train
are talking about reality television shows

they are acting as if they know the people

the real housewives of…
keeping up with the kardashians

the women are shouting over the din
of train cars and century’s old tracks

but you don’t know her like i do, one of them says

she just needs a good man, the other shouts back

both women have their dinners
waiting for them in fast food bags

i’m listening to them because i can’t read

i think about television
how back when i was a kid i probably
watched more television than was good for me

my old man used to walk through rooms shaking his head
my mother would say, is this what you’re doing with saturday?
as if it had to be savored or labored through

weekends were never precious jewels to me

they were another brady bunch episode
a monkees marathon on dubbed vhs tapes
cosby and family ties and growing pains reruns

i used to imagine that i was on those shows

not like an actor or anything
but like the shows were real

i was the brady’s or the seaver’s neighbor
the other member of the monkees
or the guy taking mallory keaton or denise huxtable out for a date

i loved the episodic nature of the shows
how the characters problems never seemed to last

they were better than listening to my parents
argue about bills and housework

telling me to go outside and play

worrying about some kid on monday
calling me a fat ass at recess again

or the girl that i liked laughing at me in homeroom

i didn’t have to work at anything with the tv characters
just insert myself into the background of any scene
take it from there

and while the women on the train
argue about their respective shows
dip into their fast food bags for an appetizer

as one of the women throws
a french fry at her friend
and they laugh and laugh over some outrageous plot line

i find ryan adams waiting
on my music machine

turn and watch brooklyn fly by
thumping soundtrack and in full technicolor

and think about how i don’t really watch television anymore
that i’ve sort of just learned to live with this life

my one and only long running mini-series
with its tragic and final finale

a show i’ll never be certain that i truly enjoyed
or fully got the plot.


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