(The quote “When she gets giddy, anything can happen” is pulled directly from the episode mentioned in the poem. The episode is called ‘Irma Decides Al Needs A Psychiatrist’ and is available for free on the internet.)
An episode of the radio show My Friend Irma aired on
April 2nd, 1951, with an advertisement for
Pepsodent toothpaste and a live audience.
Punchdrunk and in love. Radio waves built from
dead laughter. Sounds from people whose
vocal chords no longer have the capacity vibrate.
The lead actress, Marie Wilson, was married
three times and died of cancer in 1972.
She was 56 years old and had stared in
seven years worth of radio shows,
more than a twenty movies, and a television show
that ran for two years.
She has three Hollywood Walk of Fame
stars dedicated in her name. And yet, that
wasn’t enough to get her to stick around.
At some point in her life she must have thought
that time would freeze, and love would make her immortal
When she gets giddy, anything can happen.
But time kept moving, and she realized she had to
move with it. Forward, until her very existence was beat
into disappearance by illness and sentiment.
From 9 to 10 PM on certain days of the week,
on the station 96.5 FM, between the sounds
of conservative radio aimed senior citizens,
her voice crackles through on vibrating air.
None of her marriages lasted, her body did not
make it to senior citizen status, and yet
I can hear her, as clearly as if she was
in the next room over, joking for a dead audience,
a ghost choir of time traveling sounds.