A Little Ode to Television

Alan Feldman
| poetry


After the disorder of my days, and in the defeat of my evenings,

I love the quiet, revocable suicide of television,

especially British detective shows, where everyone

is driving cooperatively on the left, but the devoted detective

has broken many rules, and her superior officer

is inevitably impeding the plodding investigation,

while everyone speaks according to region and social class

and the rain tumbles down from the heavy

upholstery of the British sky.


I’m comforted knowing that the improbable murderer

will end up behind bars, or will die being captured, while the


quietly vindicated, will return to her paperwork and her


not unlike mine, isolated inside the rain-drenched black


of her nights. And I feel safe knowing a hundred more

episodes are waiting,

each as fateful as the sunset, and shaped by the same


of order and mayhem. And I must never forget

to sing the praises of the music too––the royal

French horns, and the screeching violins of terror

at the spilling of British blood––and how all of it leads

perfectly into sleep.


Alan Feldman is the author of The Happy Genius, which won the annual Elliston Book Award for the best collection by a small, independent press in the United States; A Sail to Great Island, which won the Pollak Prize for Poetry, and Immortality, which won the Four Lakes Prize and is due out from University of Wisconsin Press in Spring 2015. His chapbook, Flowers in Wartime, has just been published as a fundraiser for children’s classes at Danforth/Art. Find more at http://alanfeldmanpoetry.com/

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