Saturday, June 30, 2018

Poem: For Anthony Bourdain

I can explain suicide to you. It's as simple as an analog TV's antenna. 

Some people are lucky--the manufacturer delivers the set ready to watch straight out of the box. The antennas stick up in exactly the right places, making it easier to stay close to home. 

Others, not so lucky. Their antennas need adjusting for a clear picture, or they'll only get static. Most of the time, though, it works so life goes on. 

The rest? Companies call them defective, defying QC. These TV owners keep adjusting their antennas because the pictures and sounds, when they come through, are the brightest and most interesting in the neighborhood. 

And only this TV, this antenna, could show you the world from a Colombian barrio rooftop, a Vietnamese restaurant with plastic chairs, and a tiled floor with foul-smelling Icelandic fermented shark. 

But the antenna, as we mentioned, is defective. No one knows the right adjustments, and nothing dampens its signal. Its sharpness captures every smell, every song note, and every person (especially his first love). It's all in there somewhere, jostling around, looking for a place to call home, until one day, he decides the cacophony is too much, too bright, too much. 

He turns it off.

Dedicated to Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) 

by Matthew Mehdi Rafat (2018) 

No comments: