The television blares as I type this,
Comerade. My thoughts — recorded pressing
The red remote button by my cable
Company, the only company kept
These days but yours, sister — mingle the real
With reality TV. Lonely? Fat?
Live in a dormitory weeping while
Editing obscures confessions by the
Emphasis on surface schmutz, stalking each stitch
On the synthetic cloth. Avoid fistfights
With the disturbed but successfully cut
Plastic surgery Barbie Dollery
In the gilded cage on the next perch from
Yours. They’re angrier than you’ll ever be,
Having been deprived of so much cuisine.
Still lonely? Still portly? Still bachelorette?
Flip to a new station with a laugh track.
These images are the devil you know
In iconic form – you heard these stale jokes
Getting home from elementary school,
Turning on the television before
That mother got home, not like the one that
Lights up the screen – a lonely, fat one
Who seemed ancient, but she was your age now.
“Turn that junk off. Don’t you have some homework?”
You did. She seemed to barely notice you
As you dragged your book bag upstairs sulking.
She turned the box back on. It lit her face.
SAPPHICS FOR THE SOPHISTICATED NEW YORK WOMAN
Flipping aquamarine pasmina, enter.
Purchase heels that skyscraper rivals envy.
Tell the taxi, “Opera Lincoln Center.”
Cling to the bevy.
Don’t attend events that make eyelids heavy.
Cappuccinos substitute for good nights’ sleep.
This is New York City, not drowsy Denver!
Fatigue is skin-deep.
Guys from Wharton Business School think themselves steep.
Who needs men who pontificate Saturday night?
They won’t let you utter a solo-flight peep.
They think they’re white knights.
See you make some friends who can (think they can) write.
Writers know the best parties, never get bored.
Better yet, they get into editor fights,
Claim Amis is Lord.
Bloomingdales is ripoffsville, trust me, all floors.
Buy your makeup somewhere else, hosiery, too.
Haggle gamely for your souls in boutique stores
As if they were shoes.
If you find sophisticates who live like you,
Treat them as inferiors at your peril;
They have cop ex-paramours just like you do,
Blue-serge dressed to kill.
This is New York City life, do what you will.
Wise young women consider me their mentor.
This intimidation town takes all your skills,
Buyer or renter.
Anne Babson is a dissident American poet. Her latest collection, Messiah, will be published this Fall. Her current collection Polite Occasions has been featured on radio and is available online and in American bookstores. She has been published in journals on five continents.