LB’s Poetry: Two People Who Died By Their Own Hand

by Larry Brody


The following poem has nothing to do with showbiz…except that it owes its existence to the fact that it tells, as compactly as possible, the kind of story I always wanted to tell on TV but never could.

There were rules back in the day, about what topics you could touch and how you had to stroke them. Life and and the danger of losing one’s life were beloved by network execs. But there sure as hell weren’t any I ever met who wanted to read a script or watch a show about suicide. (Not even if it was action-packed.) Poetry, however, knows how to welcome:

Two People Who Died By Their Own Hands

I knew a woman who killed herself.

We met through mutual friends.

Her name was Harriet, and

She was impossible to deal with,

Always asking questions from nowhere,

And saying irrelevant things. Her husband Arnie

Survived by ignoring her, and so did her

Kids. Then, one day, the little ones came home from

School, and found a note on the refrigerator door.

Inside, said the note, was dinner. All they had do to

Was heat it up. “I love you,” said the note. “Good-bye.”

The house had been cleaned immaculately. Everything

Seemed perfect. Except the kids heard the car’s

Engine in the closed garage, and found Mommy

Slumped at the wheel. When I spoke to Arnie

About it, he shook his head. “Inappropriate,” he

Said, “to the end.”


I knew a man who killed himself.

His name was Phil, and he and his wife Betty

Owned a small jewelry shop. When he was

Young Phil had been an outlaw biker,

And his face still bore the white trails of

Hundreds of fights. Everyone who knew Phil

Loved him, as a man who did everything right.

One day, after Betty got out of the shower,

Phil didn’t answer her call. She found his body

In the basement, 9 mm pistol in his hand.

Later, Betty learned he had a brain tumor,

And had wanted to spare her his pain.

At the funeral, we all celebrated his

Selflessness, but the truth is, Phil didn’t even

Make Betty a snack.

Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.