Channel Surfing

I wrote Channel Surfing way back in 2005. The poem came to me after spending one late night channel surfing in my old apartment. I’m pretty sure I came across an old rerun of a show that used to come on Univision back in the day called Bienvenidos. It was a sketch comedy that featured voluptuous women and goofball actors. It definitely was no Masterpiece Theater but it sure made a whole lot of old Latino men quite happy. I then switched the channel over to CNN where they were showing footage of the Iraq War. I pulled out my writing pad and came up with what you see below.

Channel Surfing

The room is solitary

Engulfed in a dark haze

Of my own choosing.

I throw my limp body

Unto the uneven mattress

I reach over to pick up

The small plastic wand that will

Serve as my escape from my present state

The screen flickers to life

The image of an Amazonian woman with freckled chest

Is being played on Univision

She’s being harassed by two short stout men

With forced high pitch voices, in infantile costumes

Two more Amazons come into view

The tiny men ogle at their spotted breast

I guess Latin men

Enjoy their leopards with spots

The image shifts

A celebrity weeps

As she confesses about some

Long passed transgression done to her

The audience cries along with her

She is hailed as a hero

For going through what millions

Carry in silent shame

My eyes are transfixed

My mind sluggish

I press the rubber button

I’m transported again

A group of Arab men stand in line

They are gone

Only smoke, fire and dust remain

The next instant shows blood stains

On the ground

Footage like the panels of a comic book

It shows the beginning and the end of a sequence

But never the middle

Never the carnage

Orwell’s words echo in my mind

“If you want a picture of the future

Imagine a boot stomping on a human face-


I block out the thought

No thinking

Not now

Not in front of the box

Never in front of the box

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