Becca Klaver

ON THE NIGHT BEFORE TV GOES DIGITAL

PBS is playing Chattanooga Choo-Choo

ABC is playing the NBA finals (Los Angeles v. Orlando)

On NBC, the greenish light of a hospital room

CBS follows a tan blonde smirky genius

FOX’s local news is sponsoring a conversion box giveaway

I am playing a dirge for my friend and tomorrow morning’s charges and tomorrow morning’s pleading

Frasier reruns, Cosby reruns, cell phones spandex and storms

You say this is trivial but I take the long view

that was the language we were hearing all night, the poetry of this tall blond guy
who spoke like the movies, stopping and starting, making a joke, a kiss

The poetry of television done up in Spanglish and white suits

This is a commercial-free hour

Baseball announcers play themselves

I play myself and Pavement’s cover of “The Killing Moon”

Charlie Sheen and his patina

It’s April in June, I’ve got bullion and butter as consolation

Little green flecks float to the surface

My instant / soup and its patina

What can I tell you that will exploit myself and no one else

The man with the red Indian on his cap has won the girl

Oh it’s Charlie

Mennnnnnnn

The way to the surface is slow

Morbid, I’m leaving it on all night

 

MORE LYRICS FOR MY FAVORITE BAND

I was clapping for your dance / I was dancing for your clap

I was skooching around in my anger / fainting into a nap

and the girls on the train with their Warhol tote bags
and the girls on the train with their space! gusts
and the girls on the train empire-wasted
and the girls on the train shitfaced-ed!

I was scowling for your benefit / I was benefiting from your scowl

I was facepainting by number / hardsetting my jowl

and the girls on the train go

doo-da-doo / doo-doo da-doo

doo-da-doo / doo-doo da-doo. . . .

 

PAVAROTTI LIP-SYNCHED LAST PERFORMANCE

I love a phony
at the end of his life
in the bitter cold
at the opening ceremony
of the Turin Olympics

Famed Figaro faker
tender tenor
synching

          Nessun Dorma
          Let No One Sleep

Every day
I have a lot to say
about What’s Real

          The farther north you get,
          the more real the people get

but most auditors
won’t stay silent
and instead react
by way of

          Okeeeeey

Hey you
of the eye rolls—
Hey you, mega-concert—

You might postpone five June dates
or cancel eight shows in April but

          I
          will
          not
          let
          you
          sleep

 

MONDAY PIZZA $9.99

the banner boasts I’m sure Monday
pizza is better than most whatever
the price because it’s unexpected
who gets excited about Friday
pizza I guess I do but I’m
excitable or hysterical or some
other word erstwhile tossed at
women who could not sit still

“A Woman Who Could Not”
(you fill in the epitaph
don’t you love party games)

A. would agree and sometimes
grabs the back of my shirt when I
try to get up from the (fainting) couch

What does he think, that I’m
getting up to “greet suitors” or to
“pace the widow’s walk” or because
“my uterus is wandering” only to
“sit back down again”

Until then I will go Frank lunch-
breaking I will go Virginia street-
haunting I will go a-Klavering
I will eat Monday’s pizza
for the rest of the week because
I am succored because I am
suckered because the Victorians
couldn’t because I can
can you

 

RED ARROW DOWN

Quarterlife bodies tap toes
picture foreign airports at Christmas
imagine Japanese characters for

          connecting flight

tattooed on our tailbones

bitchy reveries
evolutionary tailspins
dream the dream of averages

          sticky bar stool on the eastside
          hatchback for weekend errands

                    We are falling off

We think “America”

          and “eye contact”

are the best ways to stay on

The more we get to know you the more
the overlong petticoat of pettiness scratches our ankles
          nips at our heels
          sinks in, fangy

Everyone laughs at our lunchtime propositions
and begs instead for travelogues

Choose-your-own-imagination-replacement

          NO VACANCY

          IMPLIES A FULLNESS

sputters neon in passing

 

BOHO WRAPPER

this urban outfitters
monogrammed candle
is inciting a vague sense
memory nostalgia is
flexible and cheap
you can buy it all over
america though i’d
recommend a college
town there is nowhere
to sit and relax anymore
just sandwich shops
full of manufactured
vintagey gimcracks
and a chorus of sassy
voices hollering
through the fonts of
signs that want you
to believe that jimmy
is a downhome lad
like you i am neither
a lad nor at home
there is nowhere
to while away an
afternoon any longer
and there’s nothing
metonymic about
saying bank of america
took it all away nothing
hip or glossy about this
tragedy people not
being able to relax is
as real as problems get
meanwhile across town
you keep open the last
café and thank you and
bless you though your
fingertips are calloused
and you cannot sit down

NOTES

The italicized section of “On the Night Before TV Goes Digital” comes from a blog post on Harriet by Eileen Myles about Steve Carey. “More Lyrics for My Favorite Band”: my favorite band is Destroyer.

Becca Klaver is the author of the poetry collection LA Liminal (Kore Press, 2010) and several chapbooks. These poems come from Nonstop Pop, a chapbook forthcoming from Bloof Books in 2013. She is a PhD student in English at Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn, NY.