“Speed Limits? We Don’t Obey No Stinking Limits,” “Gym Rats” and “Poking Insidious Eye With Sharp Stick — It’s About Time”

by Robert Rubino

Speed Limits

Speed Limits? We Don’t Obey No Stinking Speed Limits

We’re revved up on Peet’s coffee

driven by Silicon Valley vanity

we’re unanimous

we’re equanimous

in our 24/7 disregard

for our city’s 25 mph limits

speeding up & down Middlefield Road

at 40 … 45 … do I hear 55?

making it our own private middle-finger-extended

joy ride except joy

takes backseat

to steering-wheel vise-grip grim-faced

horn-honking entitlement-ridden

desire to hear our phones’ digitized

cheery cheesy

voice of vindication validation:

“You’ve arrived!”

Gym Rats

Those who sit at the biceps curl machine

the only thing curling their lower lips

as they stare dumb at smart phone screens

reading news or weather or sports scores

or texting (Hey, ’sup? Just sittin’ here at biceps curl machine …)

or whatever they’re doing at the biceps curl machine

while not curling their biceps

oblivious of anyone patiently or not-so patiently waiting

indifferent to common courtesy & general gym rule:

Don’t Hog Equipment! as they set phones aside

to concentrate on yet another set of biceps curls

(or leg extensions or chest expansions or back & shoulder whatevers)

as if they’re Schwarzenegger at Gold’s circa 1975

concentrating on winning yet another Mr. Olympia title

when really they’re merely obscenely

overpaid GoogleFacebookTwitterTeslaStanfordHooverInstitue

Yahoos.

Poking Insidious Eye With Sharp Stick — It’s About Time

insidious eye, idiot box, boob tube

— high school teacher’s elitist

conceited critique of TV circa 1963

we conceded his point but point

proves moot, conceding TV’s voodoo

to attract distract mesmerize anesthetize

seduce with eyewitness news hope horror

JFK elected inaugurated assassinated

even witnessing assassin assassinated

boob tube, idiot box, its unblinking

insidious eye high tech narcotic

but what were poor addicts to do?

from Flintstones to Simpsons cartoons

from Alan Shepard teeing off on the moon

to loony Tricky Dick’s quitting befitting

first TV generation we’ve gone

from 12-inch black-and-white images

as snowy as Christmas in Saskatoon

to today’s Best Buy hi-def deities

like private theater sound and screens

to watch cops docs sit-coms stand-ups

mobsters Mad Men masterpieces

on Petroleum Broadcasting Service

celebrity WrestleMania megalomania

nine innings two halves four quarters

overtime all the time promotion

of conspicuous consumption

endless ads for painless perfection

of body mind spiritless spirit

even commercials for erections

9/11 replays on fetishistic loop

propagandized into war whoops

Fox News talking heads’ raging bull

talk show pablum Orwellian reality

canned laughs conned public

so many channels so little reflection

America’s got talent for short attention

with pox of pundits morbid mantra

if it bleeds it leads breaking news broken

enough is enough is enough already

more than enough staring bingeing

cringing cheering leering loathing

why now? because it’s about time

that’s all it’s ever been about

now or never never or now

at long last what took so long?

oh just usual lazy crazy hazy

explanations rationalizations

it’s about time except now

time’s far from fat and forever

far from its former self now

it’s lean and lethal like stiletto

blade or laser beam excising

or exorcising frontal lobe

when is enough much more than enough?

brain-saving no-brainer no time

like now turn off pull plug disconnect

reconnect to outside world inner you

overdue poke sharp stick into insidious

eye aspire to channel better angels

giving it up for Lent at 12 felt false holy

giving it up for good at 70 feels

freeing healing wholly healthy.

About the Author

Robert Rubino

Robert Rubino writes poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. His work has appeared in The Esthetic Apostle, Hippocampus, Cagibi and Elysian Fields Quarterly. For more than thirty years he was a daily editor and weekly columnist at California newspapers. He lives in Palo Alto, California.