There is a black hole in the corner of the living room where the television once lived…

Our television blew up, well not so
much blew up as well went sort of silently
screen blacked into that good night in the
middle of the afternoon. It raged not at
all, it just sort of stopped working in the
middle of an episode of Roseanne.

And what of this expression BLEW UP anyway?
I have heard it four thousand and thirty times over
the course of the last six and one half years, but
nothing here has ever actually BLOWN UP. There has
never been shrapnel or collateral damage caused by
any of these things that have allegedly BLOWN
UP. The hair dryer did not bring down thirteen
day laborers waiting on Main Street. The air conditioner
did not take out a family of five on their way to weekly
worship. The car did not destroy a falafel stand, deserted
cell phone store and a dry goods stall. Yet all of these
things have BLOWN UP this year. For the sake of the
innocents and the not so innocent, but not really deserving
to die in this way, I think we should retire the term BLOWN
UP and use another term to invoke and describe the failure of
our household appliances, perhaps shit the bed works acceptably or
even crapped out, croaked or even gave up the ghost.

So anyway, our television blew up yesterday. I mean it shit
the bed, crapped out, croaked and gave up the ghost. Since it
is August, things are bound to break around here. I hate this
god damned month. Come on September 1!

Anyway our television shit the bed and we decided after a
contentious debate to never replace it, to go forward in this
world like the Amish, to turn off the tubes and straws that are
silently removing our brains from our skulls while we sit
wide eyed eating junk food, to turn our backs on the media that wants
us to know about everything or at least know about all the things
that we should be scared of and what we should buy to counteract
the fears they have instilled, to raise a barn, to husband livestock, to
make really great pies, cheese baked goods and pickled produce in clear
hermetically sealed Mason jars. OK, wait a minute I went too far, forget
the pickles and the livestock and the pies and the barn, we’re just not
going to buy a new television and see what happens. Can man still live on
books and conversation and quiet music played on an old guitar alone? Or
are we so saturated with media, so addicted to fear, so worried that
we will miss something, that we absolutely must go out and buy
another television before boredom sets its fat ass in square our laps one
fine, sultry Friday night and the police are summoned because we are rolling
around on the front lawn in our underwear, screaming, scratching and
clawing at each other.

Besides, we have a long list of things that will be accomplished in the now
empty hours that once found us in front of the television sedated and pliant:
assemble, edit and publish a full length book of my poetry,
install the replacement basement windows that have been sitting in
said basement for seven one half years,
insulate the heating pipes that radiate money out the drafty
basement windows,
scrape and paint the house, patina is cool, my house is neglected,
eat oysters, a lot of oysters and then
make love thirteen times in one day,
finally make and try pesto sauce,
clean out our closets and dressers,
make an appointment for pickup of the fourteen piles of clothing
resulting from said cleaning,
use the new mandolin I bought to make french fries and gratin of
potatoes and cool ridged slices of cucumber for my next salad,
start an online used book business,
update my website which has not seen a new poem since May,
finally assemble my free poetry chapbook, Poetry Slut, in process
since 2005,
sit quietly in my back yard with a beer and not worry about the
score of the god damned New York Yankee game I am missing.

Well, we lasted two days. Our new television functions supremely and I
fell for the five year extended service agreement. On two counts
of being an idiot, how do you plead? Guilty and guilty your honor.


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