Reality Show: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day Six

And Greg in his Johnny Bravo suit
tells you how he’s really not all that

fabulous

without his five siblings,
three of whom are really

stepsisters

(but no one seems to talk about that
beyond the first episode or two)

and really, if you want to get
right down to it, all of them
are actors, and at least

one of them will hate another one
someday, and several will write
insiderish books that contradict
each other on a few key points.

But now, all of them
gather on the Astroturf lawn,

assembled in pixels on your screen
as if waiting for you to acknowledge
just how real they are—sometimes,
more than people you know.

Sometimes, more than you.

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Incomplete, Unauthorized Episode Guide to The Love Boat

Captain Stubing awakes on the deck of a cruise ship.
How did he get here? What has he become?

Guest star Charo eats some bad salmon, is forced
into close quarters with Doc Bricker. ¡Ay, dios mio!

Hour-long closeup of Isaac, staring into
the middle distance while wiping a martini glass.

Vicki wonders what life is all about.
Ah, well. Time to hit the disco.

Certain promises are made
by guest star Betty White.

Julie, having no other activity ideas, directs
the passengers—including guest star Charo—
in a production of No Exit on the Lido Deck.

Some ugly lady and some ugly dude almost break up,
but then they look up at the stars together and decide
that’s a whole lot of empty space up there.

Gopher. We haven’t seen much of him yet.
He’s been living deep in the ship’s hold,
lining his nest with cast-off cocktail dresses.

Chlamydia sweeps through the Pacific Princess.
No one is spared. (You knew this was coming.)

Guest star Art Carney, clearly confused, keeps
delivering lines to some imaginary waitress character
named Alice. The regular cast rolls with it.

What is this all about? Nobody knows anymore.

The ship runs aground, and this bunch
must somehow form a family.
Various things are made from coconuts.

I suppose you could call it that.
A version of love, sure.

Two people die while dismantling the Princess,
overcome, at last, by her toxic gases.

 

 

If it’s Tuesday p.m., check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. Today’s PAD Challenge prompt: Love poem/anti-love poem. (I think this is the latter.)

 

 

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Easy Come, Easy Go

Any way the wind blows, there’s
a devil put aside for me, and Mama
says nothing really matters. I ache

like a thunderbolt; watch it shiver in
my eye. It’s frightening when anyone
can see me. I sometimes wish I’d been

thrown away, left in the lightning under
sympathetic skies. But now I’ve gone, baby.
Oh, baby, I didn’t mean to make you cry.

 

 

Was feeling kind of epic and saw a reference to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on my Facebook wall. Done. Speaking of done, I know what band I’m going to close this month-long music series with (tomorrow — wow). Now I just need to choose the song.

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Together

You say it is peaceful there,
together on the beach,
in the open air, the blue skies.

You say we should tell our friends
goodbye, go where there is
sun in wintertime. You say this is

our destiny. If you love me enough,
how could I disagree? If I love you
enough, will you stop hustling?

Then I will make no protest; we
will make our plans, and this
is what we’re gonna do.

 

 

After “Go West,” by The Village People, because I have gone west on business.

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Open Doors

Son, I am the eagle
that has come
to take you home.

Son, the wind is
blowing; your heart
is machinery going

BOOM
BOOM
BOOM.

Son, climb the hill
again; you can trust
imagination. Time

stands still, son;
grab anything
that takes you

home.

 

 

After Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.” I love this song, but there’s another reason I chose it for today. This morning, I met with a friend who is from China. She has been reading my poems, and we had a very nice conversation about a few of them. She mentioned the BOOM BOOM BOOM in this one. It occurred to me that I knew another song where a heart goes BOOM BOOM BOOM. Betty, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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Jeremiah, the King of the World

Joy to you and me,
boys and girls.
Joy to you and me,
and rainbows.

Joy and sweet love.
And wine.

In the deep blue sea,
there are no cars,
but we get around
mighty fine,

the bullfrogs,
the boys and girls,
the wine—

and me.

 

 

Probably obvious, but this one’s based on “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night. If it’s Tuesday, 3 p.m. Eastern or later, check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. And if you’re feeling the joy, please feel free to leave me a song request in the comments!

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