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.