coughs into the microphone,
the audience shuts up,
and I say:
remember the 1990s?
remember all of the TV shows that used to be on?
remember those shitty TV shows that pandered to the children with their loud noises and their gross-out humor?
remember when we took those and made John K famous not because he was unique, but because he appealed to our child within us?
you know, the kid that watches anything?
the kid that watches Hulk Hogan survive a cast-iron skillet to the head and saves the world from the lead singer of the New York Dolls?
yeah, I remember that.
but you know, so did my childhood.
I was middle class, but I was lower class as well.
Mom dropped out of college so she could take care of me
because I wasn't properly reaching the milestones a baby usually reaches
I wasn't talking, I wasn't focusing on her, and I didn't like the noise of power drills
to her, she was convinced I was destroying myself
she wrote a letter to the newspaper asking somebody for questions
because she didn't understand I had my own interests
that I wanted to see Marty McFly and Doc Brown,
or Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega,
or Alex Murphy and Lewis
not settle for this eye-contact, talking, power drill-filled life
I'd rather watch movies
hell, imagine them if I so desired
and my mom said I was self-destructive?
But hey, moms are moms:
I can chalk it up to her being new to the whole mother thing,
but my dad...
oh, my dad, on the other hand,
granted he's been trying to make up for lost time,
but he was always out - sometimes for days on end.
He helped rent out construction equipment - sometimes, help out of a house -
but I swear he cared more about the stereo in the house than he did about me and my siblings
always getting the latest and greatest thing
SNATCHER on Sega CD
METAL GEAR SOLID on PlayStation
NiGHTS INTO DREAMS on the Sega Saturn
EARTHBOU-no, wait, he wasn't interested in that
but still, we had a lot of things
not a lot of money
we watched illegal cable and had a VideoCipher II for years
before we got satellite for a year
he wanted to see the latest and greatest film
he and mom both
but he didn't really like her too much
she was always bruised
so much yelling
god, if I were there as my modern self,
I would take a cork and stick it in their mouths
and say, "will you guys realize what you're doing to your kids?"
So, ask me.
Ask me one more fucking time:
remember the 1990s?
I will say this to you,"
"Yes, but it's overrated."
Because it is.
Not everything was cool in the 1990s.
Except for LaserDiscs.
At least those were cool.
Audience is silent,
I scream out, "Hashtag 2014 POETRY SLAM"
and I walk off the stage.
#4 worst poem of all time, Poets Magazine
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