Afterthoughts are all, the sound of clocks
and trees ticking in the wind, a dog down the block,
crushed by dusk and howling. The locks -- I've forgotten
if I remembered.... My children,
at home far from home. They send money
with love. I sit in the chair they bought to keep me happy
and still. They call when they're busy. Their names
come back slow as they do. Love rots. It's a rotten shame.
Not right with myself, I part the curtain -- and look there,
my boys are...
impatient. The one with mean sleepy eyes
lies on the couch devouring cheeseburger and fries.
He cradles the back of his skull in the crook of his elbow,
but never looks in the window out the window.
Their input drips from a satellite
that wanders mute, weightless and star bright
up there in the black beyond blue sky.
They'd have to pack pipes to get so high --
and do. Spun dizzy in the light of dead stars,
their eyes suck the electric milk of mother
Hollywood from sixty-six stations.
Babes in Toyland's on 65 at four.
The boy slouches in his armchair.
He blows smoke rings and coughs,
but isn't about to turn himself off.
It is the year of elections.
Bulbs pop in the media circus
as committee chairs meet like Gods on Olympus
to rant about the programming selections
of the poor programmers who helped them win elections.
They go home, find their children washed blue and leaning toward
Magnavoxes as if the glowing boxes were imparting dying words.
They feel distant as satellites, and are,
if not further. Their children are
disturbed by the interruption.
An actual person, unapproved by Nielson.
A new day and the boys next door have lost their keys.
Moonlight filters through the side yard trees.
The short one tears a hole in the screen,
slides it up so he can fit between,
then crawls over the sill.
I get two stations well,
four others with binoculars.
A second third bather,
I am a nameless silhouette in a window.
We all swim towards the post anthem snow.
The lights go on. The lights go out.
The nothing that everything is about.
The cat mews. The wind blows.
Today, I hold nothing but the will to let go.
Remote control, pay per view,
I already know the late night news.
The trees beat the shutters
as the wind tears at their clothes, but no matter.
All that you keep forever
is all that you lose. I can't make order
of it, but I know my apathy, confess my crimes.
The anchor loosens his tie, says we're out of time.
A blizzard snows the screen, a fuzzy mess --
a quantum disaster of little matter. Good night, God bless.
The rerun of the sinking sun, the rising of the moon....
There's really never anything on.