Sunday, March 15, 2009

Scenes from What Television Taught Me by Eric Beeny

Scenes from What Television Taught Me
by Eric Beeny


Humans are generally kind creatures
who want to give themselves to others,
if there’s money to be made.

It takes great heart to capture the minds
of pundits and proponents,
show them how right they are.

Only slobs and communists ask
for a better world to raise their children in,
wish everything truly equal only at the expense

of others who don’t work for what they have
but leave it up to slobs and communists
to work for what they’ll give away.


War is glorious.

It took up most of my childhood.

Nobody dies
from a bullet wound.

The bible knew its shit
when it said
Good must defeat evil,
that serpents could be hurled
like spears
through a man’s chest.

Wounds are not permanent.

Childhood is temporary.

G.I. Joe really was
an effective recruitment tool.


At one point white people
were the only people
considered human—
the Only-Humans.

With this accident,
this privilege they had nothing to do with,
they possessed the absolute right

to commit any / every atrocity
upon those born accidentally
with melanin clogging up their skin cells.

Now, the descendents of those white people
are mostly sorry
for the mistakes of their ancestors,

and why not forgive them—
they’re Only-Human.


You can’t trust anyone.

Your kids can shoot you,
your wife can divorce you
from her vow to keep you

A perfect stranger, say
a grocery cashier,
will smile and say Hello
one minute, the next
check your bills to
make sure they’re real.

Someone else outside
the market will hit you
with their car and get out
to see if you’re Okay.


Only the winners in movies kiss
at the end, classics
that never explain why
villains resort to measures so drastic...

Raw sewage spills
from the drains of their mouths
and when all the facts have
been spliced together—

trace levels of nutrients
freckling the filth—

you can’t even trust the one who’s right.

Author bio:

Eric Beeny's poems and stories have appeared in 5AM, 32 Poems, Corduroy Mtn., Elimae, Main Street Rag, Quercus Review, Thieves Jargon, and others. He also has work forthcoming in The 2nd Hand, Big Bridge, The Blotter Magazine and HazMat Review. An e-chap of his poetry, “Satin Anvils,” was published by Gold Wake Press.

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