The following poem is under submission. Reproduction in computer file and message bases is permitted for informational purposes only. Copyright © 1996 by J. Neil Schulman. All other rights reserved.

No More Mr. Nice Guy

A poem by J. Neil Schulman

The last day
the first day.

The last of many mornings
I haven't counted, but many
I sneak to my computer to write this.
She's still watching the TV.

The insults are uncalled for.
It's not an idiot box
Not a boob tube
Not just a passive baby sitter.

Many mornings
the two of us
Have sat together
Our respective bowls of cereal in hand
And watched:

A nice man with his own nice neighborhood.
A nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want
to live there.

A woman who, like Mary, has a lamb
And if you ask me, if she hadn't worked with
the lamb would've been working with Bob Fosse.

A purple dinosaur who sings silly songs
with sweet ideas
But, guys, lay off the synthesizer and
find some kids
whose singing
you don't have to enhance.

A street made of halvah
That I guess is always open
Funny, it got young for her real fast.
I guess once you know
your numbers and letters
the appeal fades.

A place where all they do
is read stories.
Maybe I'm just jealous
But when you see the same kid's book
being read over
and over
and over
on the reruns
How is this different from a commercial
for a toy?

That train station, of course.
With a man who wasn't a busy drummer
And a stand up semanticist
who taught us that "guest host" is an oxymoron.
Now the measure of these men is inches.
(No jokes, please, this is a G-rated poem.)

Her favorite has been the ethnically diverse
politically correct
Is this show really run by the NSA?
Was that the Puzzle Palace, I ask?
NWO to us all!

Look, the truth be told
The politics isn't all that offensive.
Just bland and predictable.
It's hard to do much damage to kids with this stuff
When the whole world is watching.

No, I don't expect the dinosaur to teach kids gun safety.
(Tho it might save some lives.)
I wouldn't trust them not to make it another stupid
Just say no.

But I came here to praise them
not to bury them.

This is, after all, a memorial.
Tomorrow she starts kindergarten.
Every morning.
We won't be watching these old roommates any more.
And I'm certainly not going to watch them alone.

Well, I suppose I could.
If I get too sentimental
And my brain cells start atrophying.

Or, I suppose,
I could always tape them for her.

Think, think, think.


September 3, 1996

Return to Recent Articles by J. Neil Schulman.