Wings in Time

Reading WINGS IN TIME reminds me of wandering, when I was young, through the aisles and alcoves of my local video rental store: a menagerie-slash-kaleidoscope of scintillating titles and seductive images. And there was also, as there is with Garnett’s poetry, something vertiginous, forbidden, even scandalizing, about what was being offered—the possibility of being thrown, by desire, and by a simple choice, into an awakening from which there could be no return. WINGS IN TIME has brought—keeps bringing—me back, to all of that. It is poetry as the exhilaration of browsing and submitting to the inexhaustible medium of life, all living drama.   

—Brandon Shimoda

Serial Mom

If obsession arrests you in time Consider me ten, when I turned to mom & said Can we just look in the video store?

It was a schoolnight.

Movies are a Hot medium, says Marshal McLuhan: Hi data, hi def Highly involving, asking little of you.

(To McLuhan the telephone was Cool Imagine)

The video store between 7th & 8th was easy to case Quickly and linger in John Candy on the North Wall, to the East

A room set off by a curtain of wooden beads. I remember thinking, who are you kidding? I’ve seen behind the beads (I never had).





The cover of Last Tango in Paris: Flesh-colored & steamy, somehow like video itself.

The cover of The Money Pit: A mussed up couple standing by a big nice house. The house was a money pit.

The cover of The Fisher King was such a mystery to me: Just a man laughing

By a pond With a ponytail.

The cover of Steve Martin’s The Jerk was almost too good to be true: The jerk himself

& the night we chose to bring him home I got a little scared.

The cover of Bedknobs and Broomsticks showed Children riding a bed through the sky w/ Angela Lansbury Who’s not even hiding the fact that she’s a witch.            Why hide? There’s a war on & you have these            Special skills.




The cover of I Married a Witch showed a concerned-looking man. I Married a Communist, same. Serial Mom:             A mom             Grinning widely

You had to be careful who you married.


Mom actually worked at Sesame Street. There were googly eyes scattered everywhere Matted hair of red & blue, reedy puppeteers . . .

Mom, why is the man on the TV pulling apart the calzone?              I don’t know. There’s a lot on TV that doesn’t involve you.

For McLuhan, TV is a Cool medium. It seems right that we, now, should pass the time coolly In a hot context.

The cover of The Good Son with Macaulay Culkin You just knew he wasn’t good.





Dear Mom,

It so upset you when unwholesome rumors spread about Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Fred was a saint, you said. & we wept

When he addressed the Senate Subcommittee on Communication. Children’s Television as a kind of religion. Often

You could have a Muppet’s carriage, easing through the house Like Prairie Dawn or a rock snail reaching

Sun.            The rare Saturday you slept in I might take out your broom, my broom

While I watched cartoons. Cartoons are Cool media, as you will have gathered by now, for I swept the living room Through them.

Untitled (from Scraps of Chalk)

If we accept the premise that commercials are effective teachers it is important to be aware of their characteristics. —Joan Ganz Cooney, Co-Creator of “Sesame Street”


A friendly-looking pirate rolls out a baby carriage full of gear

Another pirate lugs a bulky Panasonic through the grass

Maybe a Sony Portapak. I don’t know. Most things aren’t worth describing

Invasive how they let the kid wear his own turtle shirt,

Leave his hesitations in? (his mistakes)

At certain colors and textures of their invention his gaze occasionally gleams

He does not thrive with every question

He utters a passionate set of ums

Like a truck backing up

I get sore jealous of the network, of the spot, and the next one

Though they give their love so evenly

The Grid of Intimacy (from Scraps of Chalk)

Behold: A vegetarian with his hand up a

Heavy equipment, which is The Count

His deathless numbers! How I loved them


And the night we were allowed to take him home

From the Sesame Workshop

I got a little scared.


He weighed more than you’d think.

When Linda Rondstadt

Asks Elmo for a hug, Elmo considers.


Dear Mom,

The year of your birth


Marked the first significant break in movie

Self-censorship in more than 20 years.


Hugh Hefner founded Playboy,

An entertainment monthly for indoor urban males 18-80

51 copies of the first issue,


Containing nude photographs

Of Marilyn Monroe,

Sold for 50 cents each.


Touching Elmo’s fur brings out the dog in Elmo

As surely as throwing a bone

Confusing, consenting, ticklish.