television

in our livingrooms                    kitchens                                  bedrooms
                    in Feng Shiu a television screen is a mirror
and a mirror facing the marital bed is bad luck

pluck moving pictures and sound
from the electromagnetic spectrum
wherever there is electricity
piped-in cables condensing crisp, multi-channeled feasts
                broadcast signals are weaker
since cable television has become ubiquitous

all the materials, chemicals and gases that go into its making
a condensed history of the electronic age
from giant vacuum tubes to little transistors
from small grainy black and white pictures to big screen color
             Did we dream in black and white before photography?
our multicultural liturgy Marcia Marcia Marcia!
knowing where I was the moment the last Seinfeld episode aired
ordering our lives                      supper must be eaten
and home work must be done                 before prime time
I can pick you up from the train as soon as X Files is over
Infotainment                              mostly, commercials
paying for privilege of watching                      It’s free, you say?
did you pay for that appliance?         your monthly cable bill?
is time with your kids worth nothing?
your spouse?              your parents?              yourself?
                     wherever you live, there is tons of good live local music
often it’s free or just the cost of a drink

turn the television off
you will be surprised      how you no longer have time for it
turn the television off
unplug it             cover it up               stow it away
turn it off

-isw

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