No More Flat Screens!

No More Flat Screens!

Bring back the cathode-ray tube
to bedazzle us anew
with blizzards of orphaned electrons
pelting helter-skelter
against the hard opaque backside
of awareness.

And no more programming either!
No more ambient laughter
while wedding guests keen for their sins
and heroes go questing for the road less devoured
and sidekicks turn toxic with spite
and speeding shibboleths slam into each other
and turn over and over three or four times
until they burst into flames and explode.
No more elitist demagoguery
from the cormorants of punditry
or the arcane erudition
of plain old common sense.
No more promises
of sexual omnipotence
or designer bowel movements
or eternal life in some interstellar Taj Mahal.

I for one am tired—
aren’t you?—
of things that make sense,
of pictures and signs and voices
and truth.
For isn’t it a fact
that everything is getting farther away
from everything else
at some unspeakable velocity?
What is hot will turn cold,
what coheres will crumble,
all drinks will be spilt,
what goes wrong will go horribly wrong,
love will shrug off love,
and even hatred will run out of steam,
because all fullness is doomed
by the Second Law.

Only the Phosphor All-Mask
of the Random Inane
is lastingly sacred,
so bring it back into our pitiful lives
attached to no antenna.
Let no signal have its source—
no, let there be no signal at all,
only a smear of mystifications.
And let no particle have position
and no ghost have momentum
until our whims and penchants make it so.
Let us gaze into the abyss
fearless and self-beguiled
until the abyss assumes
a snowy shape that suits
our snow-blind
liking.


Wim Coleman is a playwright, poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer. His poetry has been published in SOL: English Writing in Mexico, The Opiate, Dissenting Voice, Tuck Magazine, Vita Brevis, The Esthetic Apostle, Dream Noir, The Thieving Magpie, Levee Magazine, and other publications. His book of poetry I.O.U. will be published this year by Adelaide Books. His play The Shackles of Liberty was the winner of the 2016 Southern Playwrights Competition. Novels that he has co-authored with his wife, Pat Perrin, include Anna’s World, the Silver Medalist in the 2008 Moonbeam Awards, and The Jamais Vu Papers, a 2011 finalist for the Eric Hoffer/Montaigne Medal. Wim and Pat lived for fourteen years in Mexico, where they adopted their daughter, Monserrat, and created and administered a scholarship
program for at-risk students. Wim and Pat now live in Carrboro, North Carolina. They are members of PEN International.

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