Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tom Meschery's Poem About Charlie Rose

From the Oregon Lit. Review site, here is a poem by Tom Meschery, former National Basketball Association player and current published poet, about PBS talk-show host Charlie Rose--and other topics:

The Charlie Rose Show

The way he says “young men” sounds dangerous,
so I stop channel surfing and listen:  Charlie
leaning forward, hand on his chin, asking
some old guy, what his book’s about
and the old dude answering:  among humans
and in the animal kingdom as well,
young males cause trouble.  Nature intends it,
and we’re just now starting the long path
of remembrance, how they make us feel—
meaning mostly older males—threatened
and anxious.  A generational battle,
so to speak, which, from the point of view
of young men, makes all the sense
in the world according to Charlie’s guest,
author of The Decline of Males;
as in the case of some species in the world
and even in captivity, one or two
knock down, drag-outs with dad,
and the winner takes the prize:  females
and family felicity.  Which can’t, Charlie argues,
be analogous to today’s young men,
meaning the sons of his generation,
the baby boomers, to their random violence
Woodstock ‘99 being a case in point.

And I’m thinking Charlie Rose seems
a little ruptured, evoking images
from Clockwork Orange and Lord of the Flies
boys prancing naked around fires,
pig’s head on a stick, Paleolithic shadows.
So I ask my friend watching the show
with me “How does Charlie get off
being that fucking self righteous?”
But my friend points to the full moon
outside the window, smiles, and points
to the one rising over my belly button
just below the three green eagles flying
across my chest.  “Is that it, dude?” I ask
as Charlie Rose praises his guest for shedding
some light on such a difficult subject.
“Is that it?” and suddenly I feel better
knowing I’ve been given a license
to get back to the natural order of things;
say, if my old man gives me trouble,
which I’m telling my friend he did, last night
and in spades, I can simply arm wrestle
him into submission.  At least, that’s how
I’m seeing it, my eyes opening onto wide screens:
retreating glaciers, savannahs, jungles of primates,
tribes of hunters and gatherers, competing
for each bone of meat and feeling fine about it,
feeling just fine because God made us
this way, in his image—fathers and sons.

 Copyright Tom Meschery

A  link to one of Meschery's books:

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