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mjad Jun 2018
I hear the electricity fade
The room is lit with the TVs black haze
My body in your arms is no game
But now I'm all you want to play
part two of my previous poem Prioritize
Raghu Menon Jul 2015
Large and wide
Deep and Cool
Filled with the purest water inside
It was our village's hallmark pool..

Stone lined walls on all sides
WIth steps going down to the water
And stones for washing clothes
Which also doubled for scrubbing our feet..

Live with fish and water snakes
Who were friends with us kids,
Frogs who would sing chorus during the rains
and ferns green and bright on the walls.

With overhanging trees on the banks
We came running and dived into the water
somersaulted and torpedoed
and swam in all fashions and styles...

Swimming and diving from the banks
We played "catch me if you can"
from the time we are back from schools
Till it is dark and when calls come from our homes.

With swollen finger tips
and red eyes, but
After the long swim and bath
Having dinner right away and
slipping into a good night's sleep...

Days where there were no TVs to watch
Days where there no homeworks to be done
Days where what mattered most were friends
Days which take us to the sweet childhood..

Gone is the pride of our village
there are no kids who play in the water
For there is no water in the pond
except for a few months during the rains

Kids are no longer kids
They have TV to watch
Phone and computers to play
Virtual friends to play with

Lucky we were
to have such beautiful childhoods
Such memorable friendships
Such adventurous rainy seasons
Dorothy A May 2012
Trish had an uncanny ability to pick all the wrong ones. Like a friend once told her, “You always try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!”  If there were a hundred available guys in a room, she always managed to zone in on the worst one there, not the kindest one, not the one with the greatest character or honor. It's like she had a special gift for finding a man—a cursed one—yet she had only herself to blame—not  fate for it—like she tried to point her finger at for her troubles. In this regard, Trish was often her own worst enemy. And none of her bad experiences seemed to deter her from her defeating patterns, for it seemed that having a ****** choice of a man in her life was better than having no man at all.

A Friday night without any date was something she desperately wanted to avoid. At the age of fifty-six, trying to meet men was getting old, as old as she was feeling, lately.

At Pete’s Place, a local bar down at the end of her street, and two blocks over, Trish could at least feel like she was among friends. It was an old hangout that always felt like a safe haven to turn to, familiar territory that she could call her own turf, her home away from home. Often, Trish encountered regulars, down-to-earth faces who have been going to the family-like establishment as long as or longer than she has. Drinking really was not her thing, not more than one or two, at the most. But if anything, if worst came to worst, she could say she was not home alone and left out while the world seemed to go on its own merry way without her.  

Pete’s Place was far from a glamorous hangout, but it had a cozy charm to it that made it irresistible to Trish. In the back were a pool table and a dartboard that provided some harmless enjoyment. With a couple of flat screen TVs, there usually was some sports game to watch. And every other Saturday, there was a DJ conducting Karaoke that always attracted a regular crowd. Trish couldn’t sing a note, but she loved to watch and cheer everybody else on. She just felt so welcome here, so at home, that even if she felt depressed or lonely, the atmosphere eventually lifted her heaviness of heart.  

Entering the bar this time, Trish hardly saw a familiar face at all—that was except for the bartender, Henry, who worked this job since forever. For a Friday night, business seemed surprisingly slow. There was only an older couple watching a baseball game that was at Pete’s Place, a couple that she did not recognize.

“Where is everybody?” Trish asked Henry.

Henry smiled. “Hey, Trish! Good to see ya! Yeah, it is like a ghost town tonight, isn’t it? I guess there are too many good things goin’ on down in Buffalo. I think there are some big boat races goin’ on. And, for sure, there is the jazz festival”.

“Well, I’m here, Henry! Look out, everybody! Let the fun begin!” she said jokingly as she sat herself up at one of the barstools. She looked around. Even the wait staff wasn’t around, obviously gone home early and not needed.

“Would have been nice to go somewhere fun like that. I mean the jazz festival. I like jazz”, Trish said to Henry.

Henry was trying to stay busy by wiping down the bar, cleaning every nook and cranny behind the counter. “You should have called up one of your girlfriends to go over there. I am sure someone would have gone with ya”.

Trish rolled her eyes. “What girlfriends? They are often too busy with their own husbands or men in their life to care about what poor, old Trish Urbine wants to do!”

Henry felt bad for her.  The more she frequented Pete’s Place, the more he knew she was all alone, was in between having some man in her life. And, lately, she was coming quite often to the bar by herself.

“You are not old, Trish! Hell, I am older than you!” Henry exclaimed.

Trish just frowned, not convinced at all by what Henry said. “Not old?” she asked. She pulled a small mirror out of her purse and looked at herself, giving herself the inspection of a drill sergeant. “That is a joke! Look at those bags under my eyes. Look at those crow’s feet, for pity’s sake!  Look at that droopy skin in my neck! Horrible! I am trying to save up for a face lift. I really need it! Been needing it for a while now!”

Henry shook his head. “All you women are alike. My wife does the same, **** thing, the same putdowns to herself. Says she’s fat. Says she’s getting old and ugly. Says this and says that. But let me tell you Trish, after thirty-six years of marriage, I still see her as my sweetheart. I’d have it no other way than with my Bernadette. He patted his belly and added, "Hell, look at me. Believe it or not, with my job, I don’t even drink that much beer. But look at the gut I am getting”.  

Trish scoffed at what he said. Henry looked nearly as lean as he did the first time she met him. He was just being nice. .Under better circumstances, she would have found what Henry said as endearing and charming. To say he still loved his wife as his “sweetheart” was incredibly adorable and rare.

“Hey”, Henry said. “Enough of my jibber jabber. Pardon my manners. What can I get for ya, dear?”

“Just a Diet Coke for me, Henry. I have to watch the calories myself. You know me—don’t want to get frumpy, lumpy and dumpy. At least not more than I am!” Trish smiled. She thought that her self disparaging remarks were a cute way of getting her point across with humor, but Henry couldn’t see anything funny about it.

He filled her glass of pop from the tap and handed it over to her. “Hey, how’s that daughter of yours doing? Is she still living in Albany?”  

Trish cupped her hands up to her forehead and rested her head on them. “She is still in Albany, but she might as be on the moon for all we ever talk to each other”. She looked up at Henry and he could see the frustration written all over her face.

“I didn’t mean to upset you”, he said.

“Oh, you didn’t”, she returned. “I appreciate you asking, but you know the situation with Patti and I. It is either that we are at each other’s throat or we just don’t talk. Truth be told, we haven’t really got along since she was a girl. Once she hit those teenage years—oh, man they were a nightmare! I wouldn’t relive those years for anything!”

Henry rested his elbows up on the bar counter. “Oh, I know what you mean!. My second son, my boy, Steven, and I had a terrible time once he hit about fifteen. Man, him and I bucked heads all the time. Yes, indeed! It could get ugly, and it sure as heck did! But now I’m proud of him! In Afghanistan, fighting for his country—that is somethin’ that makes me glad! Now, I say that I couldn’t ask for better sons. I’m proud of him—of all four of my boys as good, strong men that they are!”  

Trish sipped on her coke, a hurtful look upon her face while reflecting on her daughter, a daughter that she named after herself.  Both were named Patricia, but the same name did not mean two peas in a pod, actually far from it. Trish definitely preferred her name, short and sophisticated—so she had liked to think—and the name, Patti, seemed cute and carefree. But Patti seemed anything but cute and carefree, not like she was when she was very little. But the name stuck with her, as she preferred to be called

“Yeah, but Patti still lives in the past” Trish said. “She still blames me for everything wrong in her life. Nothing has changed, and I am still the bad guy. Trish thought for a second. “Well, her dad, too. He’s bad, too, in her eyes. She always says she raised herself, that she never had real parents. That’s crap because I raised her and I was around—unlike her useless father!”

“Sounds bitter on her part”, Henry agreed. He thought to say that Trish sounded a bit like that, too, but he did not think it was his place to say it out loud.

“Bitter is right”, Trish said in disgust.  

Bartenders have always been seen as good listeners, like the working man’s counselor. People, like Trish, often came in for a drink to try to forget their troubles, and wanting to lean on a trusty soul in need. Henry has seen plenty of this in his twenty-four years on the job, and he has honed the skill quite well, the skill of providing a listening ear. Sometimes he had good advice, but he knew he was no psychiatrist.    

Frustrated, Trish went on. “I mean who else was there for her? When her dad and I divorced, she wanted to stay with him just to spite me! But would he have her? No, he only wanted to be with his under aged, ***** wife!

“And who else would do what I did? When my step dad died, and my mom couldn’t handle my little brother anymore, who was it that took him in? It was me! He was eleven and I was almost twenty-two and living with my boyfriend. I helped to finish raising him, kept him at my place right up to the day that he was grown—and more! And I did it because it needed doing, and nobody else was stepping in! When my sister moved to Colorado, and one of her kids, my nephew, Craig, wanted to stay here to graduate here from high school, I agreed to take him in for two years until he finished high school. And yet I am such a bad, selfish person in Patti’s opinion! It makes me sick to think of how she sees me as her mother!”

Henry poured her a refill of pop in her half empty glass. He knew that Trish was on bad terms with her daughter, that their relationship was shaky and strained. Patti was Trish’s only child, and it troubled him that they didn’t have much of a relationship. Yet Trish did not need pity. She needed to refocus and find a new direction. Henry knew that she has needed a new direction for quite a while now.    

“Well, you know I love my daughter”, he replied. “I know your heart must be achin’ bad—real bad. I couldn’t imagine my life without Jocelyn or me not talkin’ to her. She’s the apple of my eye, ya know!  And my boys know it and get that she’s special to me—Daddy’s little girl. With four older brothers, she has always been outnumbered. And myself and the Mrs. never expected her, neither. One—two—three—four, the boys all came right in a row! She came way after, Ben, the last one—a big surprise, I tell ya! But I was tickled pink and couldn’t have been happier to have my little girl”.  Henry smiled warmly, and added, “No matter how old she gets, she will always be my little girl.”

Trish’s mood wasn’t influenced by what Henry said, not for the good. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

Henry looked a bit embarrassed. “Oh, I ain’t tryin’ to rub it in to ya! No, no Trish!  I’m just sayin’ you should see Patti as someone special, no matter what it is like now. She still is your daughter. And ya lover her! You know ya do! Try to get through to her. Keep on tryin’ and don’t give up hope.”

Trish didn’t look convinced by his little pep talk, so he said, “One day she will have her own children, and realize she will make mistakes, too. You sure will want to see those grandkids. Trust me! I live to see all of mine! ”

Patti sniffed at that comment, putting forth a laugh that seemed so phony and snarky. This behavior was not like her at all, not the bubbly Trish that Henry used to see coming into the bar. “Grandchildren? Are you kidding me? Patti wants nothing to do with men! She avoids them like the plague! Says she doesn’t want to end up like me…married and divorced four times…she says there is no excuse for it. But she uses me all the time as an excuse! I think she is just scared to death of relationships with guys!”

“I thought you were married three times?” Henry asked. He had a surprised look on his face, but then he tried to think differently. “But I don’t want to **** in on your life. It’s your business, not mine to judge”.

“No, Henry, it’s ok. My last marriage lasted only seven weeks”. She turned red in the face now, but she wanted to set it straight. “Patti thinks it is disgusting that I married all those times. My last husband tried to clear out my bank account, and I left him. Patti says she will never marry. She won’t touch a man with a ten foot pole to save her life!”

She paused as Henry stared intently at her, listening. “She does not want to end up like me”, she added, her voice throaty. Tears welled up in her eyes.  

Patti was the product of Trish’s first marriage to a man named Earl Colbert. When Patti was six, her father divorced her mother. Since then, Patti had seen plenty of men come and go. In between her other three husbands, there were too many boyfriends to even keep track of. Trish was also engaged twice, but the engagements were eventually broken off.    

She sat in silence as Henry was still thinking of the right thing to say to comfort her. Soon, two young couples had entered through the door, dispersing the air of awkwardness, and stopping the conversation between Henry and Trish.  Henry continued to clean up around the bar as he waved to them and welcomed their presence. One of the guys came up and ordered a pitcher of beer before joining his friends at a table.

It was no more than a few minutes later that another customer approached inside Pete’s Place. It was Jake. Trish rolled her eyes at Henry. He was a regular here, too, like she was, and about the same age as her.

Jake immediately came up to Trish and put his arm around her. “Buy you a drink, darlin’?” he asked. His breath already smelled of alcohol.  

“Oh, Jake, get away!” Trish scolded him. “You know I don’t accept drinks from married men, so move on!” She waved her hand in the air to clear the bothersome odor of his ***** away from her.

Jack just laughed, and moved to the other end of the bar, his usual spot. Henry kept his calm although he did not like Jake acting like a fool to Trish, or to any of the women who came here. He had to do his duty and serve Jake, but if he had his way the guy would be just a step away from being told to leave. Henry always kept a close eye on how much Jake was drinking, and he often cut him off when it seemed he had his share.

“Whisky, Henry”, Jake ordered. They both knew the routine.

With his whisky in hand, Jake smirked at Trish and asked, “How come you ain’t at that big jazz festival downtown?”  

“How come you ain’t?” she echoed him, sarcastically

“Cuz I don’t have a sweet lady to go with me and keep my company”. He winked at her, and downed a gulp of whisky.

“Oh, you mean like your—wife!” Trish said.  Jake and Trish often bantered like this to each other. “You will never change, Jake. You are a rude and obnoxious flirt, and you ought to be ashamed!”

Jake just laughed her off.  “Sweetie, my wife knows I’m a big flirt. She’s OK with it! She says ‘as long as you are peeking and not seeking, who cares what you do!’”

The two young couples that came in a while ago overheard Jake’s conversation and started to crack up in laughter. It seemed that he was the entertainment for a lackluster evening at the bar, a court jester of sorts. Trish looked at the four, young faces that were laughing at her expense, glanced at Henry in silent agreement that Jake was an idiot, and quickly turned red in the face.

“Jake, shut your big mouth!” Henry intervened. “You lie as much as you belt them down!”  When Jake was more sober, he seemed pretty reasonable, but he was nauseating when he was on a drinking binge.

Henry exited into a room behind the bar for a moment. Jake whispered loudly to Trish, like an impish, little boy who knew he might get caught, but loved the thrill of it. “Psst. Hey, Trish! Look! My wife’s no fun at all! Won’t go out with me no more. The festival is going on all weekend. Just give me your number and I’ll call you tomorrow and pick you up to take you there”.

Trish pretended like she did not hear him, still rattled up a bit, but trying her best to hide it, and Jake soon devoted his mind to his drink.

She turned herself around in the barstool and pretended to watch the baseball game. The scene in the room was still practically the same way since she first arrived. Only now there was an edgier atmosphere with the four younger people in it. The older couple was still sitting together in the corner, intent on watching the ball game. The two younger couples were drinking down their pitcher of beer and talking away. One of the young man had his arm around his girlfriend, gently caressing her back, and the other young couple, that was sitting across from them was holding hands.  

In longing, Trish looked on at the young couples. How she m
euphony Apr 2014
baby boomers' education was creative
back then everyone was so imaginative
considering the economy was inactive
our perspective isn't the perceptive.

we were made from the earth's clay
from our mother's conception day
into the world we millennials came
treated by parents like we are so lame.

our technology is more advanced
millennials are so very benevolent
i guess it is such a bad expectation
s/o to my ***** Richard Dawkins.

they say back then we called friends
we say today we text friends
they say gas was worth 35¢ a gallon
we say gas is worth $3.35¢ a gallon.

they say we had black and white tvs
we say ****** we got colored tvs
but there is a paradigm masterpiece
it just makes you stand to your feet.

considering our generation escapades
theirs created the existence of AIDS
now we millennials are not to blame
that is what made their time so lame.
(: hope this makes sense to the millennials out there on :)
I looked into the mirror and this is what I saw
Overweight, bloated and extremely out of shape
Put me in a purple shirt
And I'd look just like a grape
The time had come to buckle down
It was time to go get fit
There's not a better time to go
I figured...this is it
So, I went in after work one day
I had a "ONE DAY CENTER" pass
They like to be called centers
It seems to give them class
I waited once I got there
It was time to hide my pride
I waited for someone else to come
And help me get inside
The door, well it was monstrous
The sort of door a "center' needs
I couldn't budge it with my pushing
"The sign says Pull, sir....can't you read?"
A girl, no more than twenty
Helped me in..god bless her heart
You could stick three feathers in her ****
And she would be a dart
She led me in up to the desk
And then she went to change
I was now inside "The Center"
And it really did feel strange
I saw a gym once, in a dream
It was not like this at all
This was wonderous, expansive
The gym was like a hall
A young girl came and asked me
If I would like to take a tour
I told her I would love one
I didn't tell her about the door
She showed me all the new machines
The ropes and steps and *****
The freeweights and the changing room
The tvs and the walls
She told me what they offered
That most other Centers lacked
I was looking for a way to leave
Then she gave me a back pack
"You get this free" she said
for coming on the tour
I told her thanks, but still inside
I would keep quiet about the door
I said I'd think about it
I was not sure if it was me
I was not really a "Center" guy
I would rather watch tv
She said maybe a session
With a trainer would change my mind
I said that I would do it
There was a numbness in my behind
The chairs were most uncomfotable
I was squeezed in rather tight
A purple grape stuck in a press
That's really quite a sight
She went and got a trainer
And as I walked around the floor
She came back wtih the little girl
That I'd met at the front door
She showed me the treadclimber
Said it was easy on the knees
It was easy to get started
Using this would be a breeze
I got on and got started
Four steps made my head begin to spin
I was really getting dizzy
I really hated thin
I got some water
She said we'd go try out the bike
My **** cheeks hid the entire seat
This was not something I liked
Next free a man's toy
I couldn't lift them from the floor
Then she whispered "oops I'm sorry"
"I forgot all about the door"
She left to take a phone call
I then went to have a ***
I knew I could work the ******
Away from where prying eyes could see
I went back and I joined her
She chose to show me a machine
It did most of the work by it self
It was guaranteed to make me lean
We talked for near an hour
Then I went back to the desk
I thanked her and sat down again
I really just needed rest
I listened to the payment plans
As they were speedily thrown out
I thought about my heart attack
My bursitis and my gout
I signed on as a member
Vowing "no longer would I be mush"
The one thing I'd remember
Is to pull the door not push!
Alessander Mar 2015
Something about her
the way she sips her beer
as if it’s tea, and she’s in a kimono
peering out into a storm
as the wind rattles the ***
and snakes through the silk
she undulates, sliding her finger
over the rim, then sips

I know the real storm
broods inside her frail frame
but she says little. mostly listens
and it drives me utterly insane
she should scream or bang on walls
she should throw ashtrays into tvs
but instead, she simply nods
her glazed eyes as still as pearls

She’s like a cherry blossom descending
towards the  muddy trail below
she will be trampled by hooves
of  merchants and thieves
and I am the charcoal cloud, aching
as I feel her falling farther from me…
How can we live simply
Without being over extravagant.?
In this modern world that seems a bit much..
Mobile phones.
I phones.
Etc the list is endless.

Want to live simply.
Read books

Outdoor sports

Keeps the mind active and exercise.
Also crosswords playing family games.

We have to much technology.
Consumed by it ...
The boys I have loved. Even the worst of them made me hot water bottles in the night, brought improvised snacks into bed.

They sorted out, they picked up, they dropped off.

They indulged flights of drama and dried tears.

They went after lost purses and rolled a thousand cigarettes.

They wrote letters, drew pictures, cooked dinners.

They lay with me on grass, on rocks, on planes.

They built fires, put out fires, fanned flames.

They had cats, mothers, little brothers. Square TVs from the 90s, TVs that went online. Striped socks, odd socks, socks I wore on my hands.

They bought me cider, shoes, a locket, a watch.

They came on foot, on a bike, in their mums’ cars without permission.

They shouted about boys, girls, money, drinking, work, rent, broken windows and writing on the walls.

They were banned for drink driving, damaged by absent fathers, babied by ever-present mothers.

They were heavy drinkers, hard rockers, light fingers pressing need in the dark.

They smoked Royals, Virginia, Drum, Thai stick, on Friday nights.

They went to school, went to college, went to uni, went to ****.

They got jobs, lost jobs, quit jobs, did jobs for a week.

They crashed cars, collected scars, got in fights.

They played scrabble, played guitar, played away.

They took me to the skate park, to Paris, to hospital, to hell and back.

They gave me red roses, ****** noses, confidence, cystitis.

They passed out, walked out, lashed out and found me out.

They were at war, at sea, at one with me.

They were all good boys.
gus Jan 2019
In this world I'm a lottery winner,  
oblivious to the millions beyond my TV,    
my hope somewhat more than a glimmer.    

Anything can happen in your own little world,  
the shame is that it never will,
perhaps I should upgrade to a different screen size?
At the behest of a doctor with a pill.  
My TVs the window.  

The reverse of what yours is to you,
different versions of the same kind of limbo,
You just get a “sight” more fresh air than I do!

Perhaps a sit in the garden?
An exercise yard for a cell,
a bit of VR before solitary confinement,
a screen saver for a life now unwell.
My TVs the window.

If your not careful you’ll know this for certain!
For like perhaps many other souls,
you could spend your life,
just a shadow behind an ageing net curtain.
My TVs the window.
Peter Simon Jun 2015
There is a city inside my body
With cars making their way through my veins
People are on rush like they’re insane

My organs make up the industries
And the people are the workers
They work twenty-four/seven, tirelessly

Waiting for the food
Which they make into goods
And supply to all the smaller towns

But in my body,
The day never comes
So they’re accustomed to night-time

And all the routes and all the buildings,
And all the cars with their honking
Even lampposts and payphones

All the houses’ windows
Maybe even TVs and radios
Together, they make their own city lights
They gave us the sun to explore this earth, the moon to go back home ... For in your dreams is another reality, and one you rarely see... Lucidly at least... Your dream self has explored. Has suffered. Has laughed. Has felt the fear of not being able to run as real as you feel me pinch you. How can that not mean something? How can I wake up every single morning, and not take a second to appreciate the opportunity to go back home, but wake up here...
They had to make these experiences feel real. They had to make us believe that being "awake" was as good as it got. They can't make money off you if you live in your they refuse to let you sleep... 

Wake up! They scream. With their TVs and electro beats. With their Budweiser and whiskey. With there horsepower and responsibilities. With there everything. 

Fall asleep. In DMT. find the path they don't want you to see, find the boy that needs to breathe, find the answer and use the key, because we have the power to accomplish EVERYthing. SCREAM. "LEAVE ME BE!"

Stay out of my bank account, stay off of my streets, take your big brother, and give me back trees....
Another dark day in this dismal old place
Snow clouds were moving in fast
The sky was so dark, and the wind had a chill
This was a storm that was sure gonna last

At Cy's, The Old Pawn Shop was empty except
For Cy and the stores old dog Gruff
The storm was en route and Cy figured that this
Was a good time to go through the stuff

Years of memories, years of tall tales
They were all on the shelves in this store
There was all sorts of jewellery, tvs and clothes
And in the back was at least 40 years more

The door opened sharp and the bell startled Cy
He was checking the watches and clocks
A young man came in, dressed all in black
Cy said "push hard or the **** thing don't lock"

The young man was tall, about six two I'd say
Cy had never seen him before in his life
He'd said "Sir, I've an offer, you can take or can leave"
"And it's the best one you've had all your life"

Cy looked at the man, intrigued though he was
He said "Sit, and I'll put on some tea"
He went to the door, checked the oncoming storm
And then he put the sign up..."BE BACK AT 3"

They sat and they talked, and they laughed as the wind
Blew the snow up against the front door
Cy pulled out some books, went and made some more tea
Then the man left and left Cy in the store.

Later that night, under cover of darkness
The man came on back with a truck
Cy opened up, and with Gruff by his side
They watched as the man quickly loaded the truck

Two days had passed, and the whole town was white
The storm closed the town for a day
The streets were a mess and the schools were all closed
And the kids had the day off to play

On the third day, the town, woke up almost as one
With people phoning up Cy's by the score
For as they all left for work, there all wrapped up in brown
Was a box, sitting by their front doors

Jim, was the first, opened his box outside
Saw the watch that he pawned with Old Cy
Gianni, and Mike, and others as well
Received items they'd pawned by  and by

In total you see, almost 200 folks
Opened boxes paid off that dark night
Christmas was early for folks in the town
Given by a young man, who'd done right

Cy gave the names of the people he knew
Even though it was against the Pawn shop man's creed
He'd loaned out the money in interest free loans
To these folks that he knew were in need

About  five thirty that day, the young man returned
Cy and old Gruff were waiting inside
They spoke how his stunt was a universal success
And at this, they both laughed till they cried

The man rose from his seat, shook Cy by the hand
Cy asked "Why did you come here?"
The man answered "I'm here after my Mum"
"Her names Mary, and I heard she serves beer"
I said "The Street" poems were done, but I thought....I needed to keep them alive, so here is a tale bringing in Cy (The Pawn Shop) and Mary (The Bartender) back into play. Read them along with the others to refresh yourself with the street. It could be interesting now that Mary's son is back, the son the town didn't know about.
our lives are fraught with numbers

so many fractions of a second faster in a race  
most wins on record   best jury votes
highest flight   deepest dive   most goals
meters of rising sea levels
millions of refugees   and more displaced
tens of thousands  honor killings
thousands of deaths with Ebola  
millions of Zika virus victims next year
billions of deficit or profit in import/export
    or the stock exchange
votes in elections    or for beauty queens

polls    tweets   virtual friends  & followers
likes on the social media    on hellopoetry

we have been taught to measure our status
our importance   and the significance of our lives
in clicks of other peoples’ digital devices

even our time has been reduced to numbers
the digital has long replaced the comprehensive
instead of the round dial that shows 12 hours
    suggesting the duration of a normal day
we have a punctual display  without the whole
the cyclical has lost against the linear

we all look forward to our numbered future
no past  and very little present

our hands on smart phones    homes    TVs
    pushing a button makes things move
    swishing a screen displays the world

over all that we easily forget
that we ourselves have been reduced to numbers
    of customers for businesses
    of voters for the politicians
    of workers for the corporations
    of citizens for our nations
digital quantities we have become

and if we take a global view
we are part of the seven billion plus
that currently inhabit our earth

all of which do expect their individuality
be honored  and their dignity respected

numbers don’t  honor individuality
they simply count the units
items  or people  are for them the same

it’s left to us to find a way
that leaves the numbers in their place
yet guarantees us dignity
as individual members of the human race
Phil Lindsey Mar 2015
On January 20th, according to police and CBSChicago website, a 40 year old Algonquin, Illinois woman shot her 50” Panasonic flat screen TV with a rifle while her 3 children watched.  She didn’t like what they were watching and she thought they watched too much TV in general.  Makes complete sense to me.  I mean if you just unplugged it those **** kids would probably just plug it in again.   Elvis also used to shoot TVs.  Allegedly the King would grab a handy pistol and shoot out the TV every time Robert Goulet was on.  He probably had to be a better shot than the lady from Algonquin.  I don’t think they had 50” flat screens back then.

Seems like the Boss couldn’t find anything worth watching on TV:

So I bought a .44 magnum, it was solid steel cast,
And in the blessed name of Elvis, well, I just let it blast,
'Til my TV lay in pieces there at my feet,
And they busted me for disturbing the almighty peace.
—Bruce Springsteen, "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"

Who could forget Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.’***** song about finding peace?

Blow up your TV, throw away your paper, go to the country, build you a home.

Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try and find Jesus on your own.

Come on, EVERYBODY knows John Denver’s real name!

So it wasn’t like the lady from Algonquin, Illinois was hearing voices or anything crazy like that.  These were real people telling her what had to be done.  I mean there was PRECEDENT set!

And I think that maybe the lady, though a bit extreme, and now answering to DCFS, is onto something.  Maybe TV is the source of all the world’s problems and unrest.  Maybe we should all exercise our God Given right to bear arms (hold off there big fella, that’s a whole nuther issue).  Maybe we should all just unplug the TVs for an hour or a day or a week or a month, and see what happens?!  World Peace?

Well I know that this is a poetry site, and except for some lyrics from a couple of old songs I haven’t written any poetry, so here goes:

Better OFF

Tonight I turned the TV off.
And it was better off.
And I was better off.

I called my daughter asked her how she was and we talked for an hour ‘bout stuff.
I told her I loved her and she said it back and the emotion was real enough.

And my son called from Texas, said his car needed a tire and he asked me what I thought he should do.
So I asked him if he had a usable spare, he said no, I said better buy two.

Then I made me a sandwich (the TV still off!) and I picked up a book and I READ!!
The plot started to thicken, my pulse started to quicken, but by then it was near time for bed.

So I didn’t watch ‘Wheel’ and I didn’t watch news and I didn’t watch Late Night at all.
I didn’t watch weather, though through the window, I could see the snow starting to fall.
I didn’t watch Stars Dance on anyone’s toes, didn’t watch ******* give some girl a rose.  
Didn’t watch re-runs of sit-coms I’ve seen, and I didn’t watch Judy the Judge being mean.

Tonight I turned the TV off.
And it was better off.
And I was better off.
I live 10 or so miles from Algonquin, Illinois (I don't know the lady) and heard the news as I was driving.  Struck me as something that will eventually show up on Saturday Night Live.  And I thought it needed writing about.  :-)
Tato Changelia Jul 2016
You’re silent.
You’re embryos of animals
You’re  charged weapons
You’re creatures sitting in the ark
You’re TVs
You’re a guide of metro
You’re passengers without weapons
You’re fallen lustres
You’re heaters
You’re toys
Mom loudly cried
She ran and hugged the policeman
At the window of a shop
The policeman, who killed a child yesterday
Mom cried loudly
She ran and hugged , in the corner of street
Next to the church,
Padre, in the front of vulcanization
Who ***** a girl in the corner of street yesterday, next to a church.
Mom is shouting
She ran and hugged the politician on pavilion
The politician, who sold motherland of others.
Mom was screaming and ran to shop
And bought *****.
Mom drank *****
And whole night she looked alike a wistit
You’re silent.
You’re embryos of animals
You’re  charged weapons
You’re creatures sitting in the ark
You’re TVs
You’re a guide of metro
You’re passengers without weapons
You’re fallen lustres
You’re heaters
You’re toys
You’re the mom , who hugged a guilty policeman with happiness/
And then in the corner of street, next to the church,
In the front of vulcanization, hugged a villain padre and a traitor politician standing in a pavilion.
The They Oct 2011
Down cracked sidewalks but forget where and why the going started.
Lost in the chaos of moving feet whose unity lies in their organic flow,
Perspectives shift to some new truth: experiencing its constant displacement.

As bodies carry me forward, they rush to the rhythm of those who desire our desires:
I smile and laugh at voices screaming out from billboards and TVs
“What you need is need itself! Don’t look within, but to ME!”

Down the street and pause at the window’s reflection.
Behind the still face staring back lies the world’s movement:
With purpose distorted by its realization, the present bursts forth out of nothing:
Onward from some inconceivable lack,
Towards a resolution that will not resolve.  

Here I close my eyes.
Here there is the silence between thought and its realization:
In which the meaninglessness of boundaries can be discerned.
Here I find myself fall away into everything.
Here I find only Love.
Originally from
Trevor Gates Dec 2013
[Fade in, Opera hall; Orchestra is tuning. There is a murmur of people whispering.]

Once upon a time
There was the House of God
And the stage of life

Its key players were man and woman
Supported by Sin and Death

The masterstroke of creation was not of the flesh

But of the souls

[Audience laughs]

I hold in my hand
The diary of a madman

Lined with notes and scribbles
Rotten thoughts to nibble

Food for thought
Or all for naught

Such eloquence and strife
From a torturous life
For these we must share
Alas, who would care?

Would you?

Let’s find out

For in this show tonight, in the heaps of winter fables
And changing seasons
The spectacles and visions shall not be enough

On a magic carpet set for Baghdad
In the Mirror sea of Venus
The performers are all here
For your entertainment

The illustrious Obsidian Theater beckons you all
The Masquerade of the Dream Catcher Ball

With masks, we put on our true faces
Our bare faces are mere disguises
That we wear in public places
But here we’re full of surprises

Mrs. Jujubee isn’t a housewife here
But a sultry dancer, moving to the tune of
Cat house romances

Mr. Wukanlyck isn’t an account anymore
But an eccentric ******* who plays at
Both ends of the field

If you know what I mean.

All these people are able to be their true selves in the light of the stage
How come they cannot be this way in life?
Why can’t they laugh with the bohemians?
Why must it all be a secret life?
Why can they not tell their spouses?
Their parents?
Their bosses?

Why can’t they be what they want to be?


Their spouses mock the idea of such silly notions and aspirations.
Their parents disregarded their dreams in the hopes they will one day:

“Wake up, get their life in order, so they can get a real job, earn a living, buy a house, get married and contribute to society like a normal person; have a decent life.”

If you can call that a decent life.

Why become another cog in the gears of the economic machine that fuels the fire of excess industry?

Why owe more money to lawyers, bankers and debt collectors in the hopes of owning a piece of property that is just like everyone else’s?

Why push out more unwanted kids into the world where there are already millions without homes, food or even families?

Those “free nations” are ok with owning guns than knowing what’s really happening in the world.  

If another opposing religion or country threatens your comfortable lifestyle then you’re ok with having your government go to war.  

You are slaves to your TVs

Your smart devices

Your phones

Your social networking

Your computers

Your shopping rituals

Your misunderstood purpose

Your narcissism

Your arrogance

Your defensive self-righteousness

Your thin empathy
An obtuse apathy

Indecisive, nail-biting listeners of classroom objectivity
Ridiculing social solicitors of mall shop dogma
The young millennial generations stamped with no discerning identity
Than the loss of critical thinkers which are replaced with
Cultural zombies and robotic masturbators dripping over
Dim screens of cyber people in the millions, filling minds with
Misconceptions, misguided eroticism, racial diabolism that will be
Passed on to friends, family and teachers who will disregard sources and substance
But use the same destructive and dividing strands of unrest
That will define their day to day lives
From the words
The minds
Of frustrated, opinionated
Suburb bloggers
Middle class pioneers that one day
will rule the country
Preaching of the day that all are troubles will be
And all our past misdeeds and sins shall be
The crusted, rustic chains of our forefathers’ bane shall be

And then maybe we’ll be able to embrace each other
Like in the storybook pages of our dreams
Where men can love men
And women can love women
And the faces, the masks
Will not be needed anymore
Because what we present to the world in the face of that
Higher being
Or simple sun
Will be what we truly are
We will have one life and one face and it will be all we need
Not like before, where our closets have that hidden space
Where we hide our real faces
With that suit of dusty skin
That everyone once in a while we have to sneak away and wear

Little Colette De Salle
Petite college student with features like
Audrey Hepburn
Singing in the underground garage
With Stevie and his troupe
Her songs haunting, elegant and pure
About people she once knew
Her parents
Beaten to death on the streets
By simply reporting the truth to the world
Which their bosses and media supervisors
Will determine what the “truth” is
And what is newsworthy at 7pm

She is Ms. Colette de Saille
And will be dead before she graduates
Because someone didn’t like what she said that one night
Calling out the Pigs and suits making sure no one paid
For her losses

This is Ken Sosnowski
But tonight on this stage he is Aveda Cicada
And she is who she is from birth

Like you all that sits before me

With shadowy smiles
And grins holding flowers, doves


The Obsidian Theater, entry 16
I was moving out
Parked my bike down the street
With a cart hinged on the bolt beneath the rusty pole
connected to my seat.
The yard was steep, and the stairs leading down
the front
Vanished each car-
go carrying trip
of dictionaries and travel guides that
could have been lumped together in boxes
separately tossed into the neon
synthetic fiber
rain-proof buggy
Connected to my seat.
I ran across the lawn, one last time
Buckling the watch I found from high school
remembering it’s broken and not caring
then I saw men wearing polos beneath
Greek symbols beneath a doorway
and held my breath as they stared at me.
This vacant lot held something which I carried back
to find
my bike was gone, replaced
by a life-sized depiction of a bike saying
“no bikes--” A girl inside, explaining where I could find mine
I walked down the grey spiral of handicapped access ramps
surrounded by aquariums or tvs
which comprised the store's interior.
The last ramp faced an exit and went straight past
refrigerators next to vending machines
In the alley behind this office supply store were two old men
Roasting my bike on a chain beside the others
Disconnected, hung
its tires lying on the ground beside their feet
and the carriage slung aside like a bloodied gazelle's neck.
“What the ****!”
A woman got into my face “don’t use that word”
“****’s a perfectly good word, after all, it’s how we
got here”
One man smiled.
He felt bad.
They helped me put the bike together and I walked it back to my house.
I saw my car down the street.
I thought about the long trip to the interstate and wondered why I’d
rode my bike
Then I went back up the stairs of the blue sided hill,
to see the roommate I hated
and thought about stealing his SNES and stereo
but took only my one possession
and walked past rotting turkey bacon in a plastic pouch
on the top of a table
beside some legos
and left.
the Sandman Apr 2016
                         in light,
                In blinding light:
Lights on cars; and buildings;
and lit up trees lining lit up streets;
             Houses with sills all lined in gold
And diamond; silver glitter glued onto mould;
Street lamps; and laser pointers; and
Towers; neon lights dotted with flowers
Of plastic sun; hoardings and billboards,
With bright teeth and skin and red words
Everywhere you turn,
Telling you what you want
And never knew you wanted;
Shop windows; chandeliers;
Presents for that time of year;
Cell phone pylons with twinkling,
Bright lights on top, like Christmas trees;
Christmas trees, with stars and angels
Speckled, Frosted,
Dusted on the tops;
Disgusting glare on sunglasses,
And a smiting gaze along the arms;
Bridges and fountains with gold poured on;
Platinum bands in every size, laying all forlorn;
Bedside lamps; and taxis; and taxi stands;
Every window, but the ones
Being jumped off of;
TVs and refrigerators, opened
Thoughtlessly at night;
Screens shooting onto impassive glass
That used to be faces;
Cameras, going off in quick succession,
Quicker than you can keep up;
I'm drowning.
We are taught desire, in light,
We learn to read in light
and scarlet letters of fluorescence
We are blind,
Now that the road is paved for us,
To the light that was before.
Goodbye, jungle of pylons and scrapers of the sky. I will live among your shards no longer.

My first list poem (that actually remained a list poem by the time I was done with it)
Nick Summit Nov 2014
A creation from big corporations
Living to buy till the day you die
Looking for the best deals, seems like a steal
But its a trap, a well hidden trap
LED TVs you don't need
Black watch you've already got
Smart phones the same as you own
Subconsciously told where to go, what to get,
we forget what is really important.
The friends and family, strong relationships,
And fellowships that make us fortunate.
Spend time on those we still got
Because that can't be bought,
Zulu Samperfas Nov 2012
"The population is expected to level off at around nine billion," says my father
A nearly full plate of Thanksgiving feast food in front of him
but he has been asked to pontificate which is what he does best
and I hear a tremor in his voice like I have when I teach
I know he is in the throws of excitement about what he's saying
planning for his keynote in Brazil, and what plant scientists can do
to help save us from global warming and the lack of water since there isn't
even two liters of fresh water for every person on the planet for use every day at seven billion
I gesture as to what two liters looks like  and my mother snaps "I know what two liters is!"

It's cold in here, in this large Oakland short sale house that fits my cousin's family
and my Aunt downstairs, where I like it better because the children aren't there
Like two houses put together and there are no carpets just hard wood floors and
open windows that make it cold and it is anything but warm and fuzzy
My Aunt is angry with me that I shop at Walmart but that's what I can afford
Tomorrow she's holding a strike at a Walmart with her daughter which makes them superior to me
She's also mad because I don't like my "Union" which does nothing for me since I'm not tenured
"You have to organize" she condescends, like that is a reasonable thing with my one and two year stints at schools but she is the big Union Head for CSU so she should know
She was on TV with Jerry Brown after all, so what do I know
The kids are noisy since they all have their own phone and can play anything they
want at any time in addition to turning on the myriad of TVs and radios and stereos in the house
and the noise ricochets off he hard cold floors and walls that have pictures on them
of people from the family, but they don't look quite like they belong
and they hang there uncomfortably and self consciously
There is every skin tone except deep black at the table
My family--all that is left

Childhood: I loved going to my mother's family in Idaho
It was hot in summer or cozy warm inside in winter and
a wonder land outside for snow shoeing and skiing
It was quiet and they always had wall to wall carpet
I rolled from one end of the room to another in it the first time I felt it
It was warm and fuzzy.  
People listened and there were breaks from noise and chaos

Here, every conversation is disjointed like we are going
in and out of different time periods and different petty rivalries and
fierce competitions under it all and families are blending and being
torn apart and the latest one has formed from "OK Cupid" online
and my Aunt has to be right, the smart one, the good one, the one of the people
and it is so cold, so very cold, and the windows are opened to let in more
cold Oakland air as if there isn't enough of it and all the sounds of
kids and electronics are driving me slowly insane

What can plant scientists do to help nine billion people
without water?  Not a whole lot, except invent crops that
survive like camels, or can live underwater like fish
since everything will be either dry or deluged with water
and I wish there was carpeting, warm carpeting and less
noise and more harmony
and this is the family I have now
the old one is gone, like the glaciers that will melt all at last
and the rivers that will run dry forever.
And I think: what we need to do is invent a way to make water
Make enough water for everyone, maybe from recycled bags or used Nike shoes
and if we can do that, maybe the air in this house will warm
and it will become quieter and the hard wood floors will become soft and warm and fuzzy
and I will feel at home here, with my family
So grand I always imagined it,
a city beyond the grasp of realism.
Famous in it's own glory
An entity that survives in the hearts of its citizens.

Stories told by those who's hearts it has claimed
are presented in the notes of our music
the pages of our literature
and screens of our TVs.

They plant a craving in our souls for that which we will never find;
the bar is raised higher than any part of this world could reach.

It was supposed to be breathtaking -- it was supposed to make you cry out with glee and wonder.
Excitement so rooted in a determined fist that no restraints could hold it.
But it wasn't that,
in fact, it was the opposite.
So human it seems wrong

Broadway is just another street
Times Square isn't bright enough
The Statue of Liberty is too small.

And it shouldn't be
this city,
the city of all cities,

**We can't blame the city,
it's been in our hearts from the first moment we discovered the world.
I realize that we could never see the city's glory the way it's portrayed
until we've learned to love the city from the inside out
until we experience the soul of the culture
the people
the music
the colours
the art that is New York.

Then Broadway will never be just another street
Times Square will be brighter than our most colourful dreams
and the Statue of Liberty could never be

So now I leave you, New York,
with the promise of a new perspective, philosophy, and appreciation
of what you mean to your people.
Adam Childs Mar 2015
I walk a tight rope through life
As I seek to find my true self

But I am sure this was not the plan
As I am far to frightened to look down
Although I really need to find my feet

Insecure legs are shaking
Jelly knees are wobbling
Pterodactlys, flying reptiles
Many headed monsters
circle the sky's above
As I fight with the world's
media and societies influences

So I close my eyes
Turn TVs off and
Throw my papers away
As I seek the center of me

The outside frizzles
While my soul sizzles
With a silent voice it speaks
As the worlds forces crumble

Butter on hot crumpets
My heart starts melting
As the physical is dissolving
And I stand still just balancing
Untouched by the world
As I find a harmony
In a sweet simplicity  

As I fall within the bounds
Of a renewed innocence
I feel myself shinning
In a white heat
I find myself connecting

And on the tight rope
To true self
I see a future
Far and wide stretching
In a heart that is vibrating
In the realms of true self
not sure how this turned out to close to it at the moment
Ameliorate Jul 2015
You raise that beer glass to your lips with such expert precision .
We exchange words out loud, yet we've been speaking with our eyes this whole time.
Yours looking softly through your glasses.
Lower, lower, lower.
However unintentionally, I notice when your eyes come to rest on my exposed cleavage.
Have I done this on purpose?
Worn a low-cut shirt to watch you squirm.
As little as I know you, oh I am wildly attracted .
You've snared me with your lips, dimples, eyes.
To know what you're thinking,
As we enjoy each-others company in a room filled with the chatter of many humans.
Each with their own agendas.
How long has it been since someone ****** softly on your bottom lip during the heat of a kiss?
Am I crazy for thinking that maybe you're just as attracted to me?
I fell very vulnerable, exposed as I sit here.
My hair is up and I can't hide behind dim lit campfire.
We just watch each other, with the frustrating inability to read the others mind.
Now we are just locked in another battle with time.
Your laugh is incredibly intoxicating
It has me more buzzed than these drinks
I crave to listen to your voice for hours
Away from this crowded environment.
What could happen if we were alone?
Would you kiss me, heated, like I've been dying to kiss you?
To taste your lips, choreograph a dance with your tongue
You have the strong hands of a man who's been working on vehicles his whole life
Dirt etched deeply within the fabrication of your flesh
What are those fingers capable of?
I shiver, drawn back out of my daydream
People laugh and cheer around us
There's a football game on the surrounding TVs.
The game doesn't interest me
But I need to pay extra attention to be able to hear you over the roar of people
Drown out the sound
It's only static
Watching your lips move
You're a piece of art
Perfectly canvassed for a poetic muse
Yet you're sitting here with me
The lost art of conversation, by now we must be experts
You must be able to see right through everything I am
My good intentions like driving at hyper speed
I wear my attraction so visibly I feel it must be noticeable
You don't give away if you know, though
I'll catch you off guard underneath the stars one day
When everything else becomes obsolete
And we lose ourselves until the sun breaks across the horizon
Yes, I intended to make you squirm
I've added an ending, since a lot of people told me my ending was too abrupt and I wasn't satisfied with how I left it halted.
dish soap soaked rags ripening my skin
as my hands dry out and ache for moisture

an ache for love pruning my skin
as my heart drys out and aches for moisture

I remember waking up to screaming
to loud tvs and sometimes old hip hop playing on our sound system
the lightened heavy twang of country from my old radio being smothered
I could hear you cussing and throwing dishes in the sink

I could hear your heavy sighs and your angry tone under your breath
and I remember waking ***** up to feel comfortable again
I remember crawling in her bed because she was the only place I was safe
and I remember when you threw the gasoline in his eyes
when we were locked out of the house

I remember coming home to an empty house, scared and tired
and screaming at ***** because I needed to take it out on someone
because god forbid me from taking it out on you
and now you want to be my friend
because you can't be a mother

and ***** is off in her new life and we stick together
under the heated lamp of the pressure you still put on both of us
and the other afternoon I woke up again to you slamming a door
and throwing your bags around
and huffing and shouting to yourself
but this time you thought you were alone

maybe that's where you're safest

but now you'll take it all out on her
your mania will worsen through the years
I'll leave, I've left
and you blame me for your misery
but you hide it some days
so I leave you alone
because that's where you're safest
haley Jan 2014
we're all standing on the edge of reality,
millimeters from the precarious cliff of horrible,
beautiful truth.
the glow of our iPhones, tablets, flat screen TVs, etc
illuminating our placid faces.
ignorance is bliss, they say.
wake up!
wake up,
and turn off your alarm,
and flip on the news;
start your coffee brewer.
we depend on the technology.
we live in the the technology.
we live in a computer.
you are not real
and neither am i
but we aren't dead either.
if we can think,
we can exist,
basing this off an existential crisis discussion
Alessander Apr 2015
Something about her
the way she sips her beer
as if it’s tea, and she’s in a kimono
peering out into a storm
as the wind rattles the ***
and snakes through the silk
she undulates, sliding her finger
over the rim, then sips

I know the real storm
broods inside her frail frame
but she says little. mostly listens
and it drives me utterly insane
she should scream or bang on walls
she should throw ashtrays into tvs
but instead, she simply nods
her glazed eyes as still as pearls

She’s like a cherry blossom descending
towards the  muddy trail below
she will be trampled by hooves
of  merchants and thieves
and I am the charcoal cloud, aching
as I feel her falling farther from me…
Keep denyng art, *******

— The End —