80s Celebration: MTV!

Couple of years back I had the notion to celebrate the 80s in poetry. Occasionally in this space I’ll post a poem celebrating something or someone gloriously 80s.

Today is MTV’s 30th Birthday, crazy I know. We’ve come a long way from those “I Want My MTV” ads.

The Pop Years

In nineteen eighty one video killed the radio star.
Efficiently ushering out all the unattractive hopefuls
Efficiently ushering in all the smooth freaks and ghouls: Thrillers;
Girls On Film: Girls Who Just Want To Have Fun—
Hyperevolution under the unyielding stern gaze of the Moonman.

I can still taste the demand…
“I want my MTV.”
The fresh hunger for something—anything—so radical
a deep abiding ache for innovation:
an innocent prisoner set me free from The Common.
Liberation from this miserable high school phenomenon:
a trite fast times breakfast club desperate for a voice to say anything.
MTV was our travel agency to worlds & dreams
we declared ours like bold indignant squatters.
We finally had the permission to fashion
hope and like all shipwrecked survivors
a crude escape from the stifling island of suburbia—
the curse of revelations is the reward
for those who ditch their innocence.
Now all too well our final fates
were rightfully recognized as a trap:
school…a 9-5 job…stock market…wife…country club…kids…death. Hell.
Our authentic American predestiny;
an inherit-curse from hypocritical hippies;
the previous generations our Eves.
All these glorious music videos
dancing and lip synching and super cool outfits
was a destination;
the famous constant seduction of bright lights, big city
the open hand invitations from celebrities and one hit wonders
the enduring undaunted youth and power of pop
To Join: Cavorting among the lost sheep (refusing to back to a home that never was a future)
perfecting the stance and sneer of rebels,
in bedroom mirrors doing the dance of defiance,
rejecting a destiny moulded in a greed is good decade.
This Time the revolution was televised
broadcast in shameless digital Max Headroom Technicolor;
selling all that cool we couldn’t buy fast enough.
We couldn’t predict what was coming next
we just anticipated more.
“Too much is never enough.”
Sadly fortune cookie wisdom reveals: “enough is enough.”
While myths successfully engulf the senses
reality always disappoints.
The 1985 prophecy eventually came true:
money for nothing and your chicks for free.
Reality killed the video star…
sparking 15 minute visions of fame and glory.

Pop Goes The World.


Also published on Medium.

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