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

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

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.

LB’s Poetry: “The Love I Know”

NOTE FROM LB: I started my showbiz life in the music business, as a drummer, and played in bands of every genre that existed at the time. The most difficult music for me to play was what then was called Country and Western, because the rhythm sounded like rock but wasn’t quite, and while the lyrics sounded like truth…

The Love I Know
by Larry Brody

Country music gives us the verities:

Love,

Betrayal,

And Death.

I live it all everyday, yet still I listen, as

Betrayal becomes the most beautiful

Possible reward, courtesy of a backbeat

And a mournful slide guitar, and

Death grows more desirable than

The most perfect lifetime, drowning

Betrayer and betrayed in a torrent of

Fiddles that could overpower any tide.

But country love pales beside the

Love I

Know.

No voice, no instrument,

No sequined yoke dress or hand painted

Pair of boots

Has ever been touched as I have,

By a woman whose truth makes

The certainties of Nashville and Branson

As false as an ember from Garth’s

Or Reba’s

Ceramic campfire log.


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.

LB’s Poetry: “Kid Hollywood”

kidhollywoodcovercoyoteCaptureNOTE FROM LB: A Hollywood poem by a Hollywood guy.

About what it felt like to be this particular Hollywood guy.

For those who want to know more, there’s a longer note after the main attraction.

Kid Hollywood
by Larry Brody

Kid Hollywood used the living room’s dark, the

TV tube’s glare, and the glittering stars with whom

He made friends

To hide who he was, what he wanted, and all he

Could be.

Hid because there’s no audience, not for

Poetry.

And no money. And no

Friends.

Hid because to be was to feel,

Was to reveal,

Was to be at the

Mercy of those who found truth in the tube

And the dark, and the glitter.

Kid Hollywood stood guard, donned 60-page armor,

Brightly outfitted, perfectly formatted, immaculately conceived

Scripts that delighted, and corrupted, and spun

Truth into straw.

(Not that Kid Hollywood knew.)

Kid Hollywood wrote,

Turned out word after word, all dingy disagreements, all

Confrontations, all

Car chases and screams. He wrote and he sat in that

Living room’s black hole, and he stared at that

White-washed screen.

The Kid wrote, and he sat, and he stared,

And he bought, how many dinners for how many

Constellations, how many configurations of Sirius and

Orion and the Big Bear?

How many luminous experiences with

Luminaries who could remember

Neither their lines nor

His name?

(Not that Kid Hollywood knew.)

Kid Hollywood wrote, and he sat, and he stared, and he bought,

Because he feared. He feared that

To know him was to push, was to prod,

Was to maim and permanently impair

The talent

He’d already

Darkened from all the glare.

Or was it really the Kid’s own

Wounds Kid Hollywood so feared?

Is that why his last series

You remember, the unsold one,

The one he called, “Despair”—

Found no audience, no money, no friends?

(Not that Kid Hollywood knew.)


NOTE FROM LB: While living in Santa Fe back in the early ’90s, I got into the habit of writing at least one poem a day, starting before breakfast and ending…whenever. Over the years, various individual poems won the usual poetry awards (because prize certificates are a lot cheaper to give out than money?), and on special occasions I would compile them and make my own physical book versions to give to friends and family.

A few years ago I turned a volume I called Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog into a Kindle book that sold one, count ’em, one copy to someone I actually didn’t know. It’s still available on Amazon.Com, but if you want to read the contents for absolutely free! free! free! all you have to do is come here to TVWriter™ once a week because starting today I’m posting selections.

No, not to get people to buy. Just the opposite, in fact. As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, “Art has to be free. If you create it in order to get money, you always end up compromising  your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t ask them to pay, you can be yourself. When you, the creator, the visionary, take that road, you automatically free yourself.

The work above is the first piece.

Free.

For, I hope the benefit of you and me.