after James Coco on The Muppet Show
they call it
we call it
a bass line.
only my brother
my brother & i
i first noticed
when he was born,
but i was not abel
to level w/ my only brother
until much later after
the point of starting on different levels.
the first race we ever competed
against each other was to see
who could wake up first—
who could wake up first from dreaming
to catch one of the earliest SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS.
we both caught on that there was something
about tube’s rarest episodes that aired between dusk & dawn
which had unexplainable jimmy coca-coco no-no fire,
& if we found out an obscurity the other one never did,
it was valuable to raise one’s level.
i remember those early eps rich w/ deep, strange mythologies & theologies
that seemed to go on somehow beyond comprehensible time
& chores awaiting us, our vessels, to dive down
into doily quarrels over dust diffusion.
our family’s tv stingrays shot our paces up
& made us
strive to be some super aqua bat spider bird dinosaur alien herculoid
on the highest level of his unique quest
in shazzan’s mysterious space ghost system simulation.
our virtual animation of starry us was a mirror.
we’d stop staring
& gaze @ grids
like cave animals’
wide pupils beholding
vitamin mineral counts
& maybe just as grandpa might have looked
@ his land of lawn he’d level
for garden beds / after soaking
up paper comics & radio programs
& we’d marvel at how it all added
up to our current sugar-fix obsessions.
i wonder maybe
if we had never gone to sleep
our cosmic cereal bowl helmets
might have hit ULYSSES in the thirty-first century’s
interstellar european time zone.
our cyclops sun — our black mirror —
the screen held such power over us
levitating like ghosts
over our spoiled octopus garden carpet.
it’s a real wonder when we fought
there was never any murder
by death between us
when critical navigation choices
had to be made b/w
his annoying ghostbusters
or my peewee muppet babies
& which of our idols would reign supreme
on our family’s saturday-morning tv screen.
we were lucky enough
to have a sister & her vote
—the territory tiebreaker—
before the huge paradigm shift
of more than one
tv in our never-ever-
falling shingled house.
we had first played as brothers
on our cousin’s NINTENDO.
we learnt what it meant to watch
the other get hurt or score
while waiting for one’s turn
to level up.
perhaps in racing his own brothers
our indiana bond father
crushed surprise crusades out of us,
giving the joint gift of an unknown system
GENESIS for christmas.
we became altered beasts
with the push of a button
but only one of us would be the first player.
vhs movie rentals turned to game rental verse
on which versus game we wanted to try out
or who & where we wanted to go virtually.
our choice depended in the end on case markings
& if it was stamped w/ 2P under its shell’s dust jacket.
renting new games had to be two player
cuz our mom said so.
otherwise someone was getting left behind
moonwalking cool spot levels w/o the other.
two controllers were toejammed together into forgotten worlds
of earl & duke dragon doubles wielding golden axe guns
for contra fighting streets of rage
& all its fatal finishing mortal moves
performed for zombie neighbors.
i was always the girl.
i identified with women kicking,
but unlike the female penelope,
as a young gay boy,
i grew tired of the games.
there were very few
i was any good at.
i couldn’t pretend. i was always
unable to do certain maneuvers
or falling off cliffs
my younger brother was better than me,
& so i found my place as his sidekick.
i’d end up dead behind him
& i eventually got used to watching
my brother play his fantasies
over & over w/o finality
as the next great shift of zones
would happen any moment
after animal drummer god
blew dust to life
into cartridges for systems.
one house / one landline / one internet /
my whole family gathered around our new power-driven fire
& each of us went awol for AOL’s online service believing
the computer screen foretold our future fictions.
a schedule to delegate usage was speedily made by our creators.
the crystal ball had to have time limits
for each of our role-playing games,
chatting up handles, acting as someone on
a different level of life’s labyrinth mazes.
with allotted time, we’d investigate
connectivity investments ramming
information into memory.
i remember that one nerve-wrecking day
(just like he always was able to do in video games)
he found out the secret—
he appeared in the computer room
during my time
& he saw me slowly up-
loading jpeg pic
of nude, snake-charming man
& pain hissed inside to unbearability—
i pleaded to my brother
my case (to survive)—
he did not see anything
he thought he saw—
it was actually an ad that popped-up
by cruel circumstance—
i was on some straight site—
(my pants were on fire)
this was the first huge shift
away from the other one’s level
so far as my coded head saw
from inside the closet w/ the old ATARI.
things change so fast—
i’ve never been abel
to keep up w/it all.
i’m jealous of my brother,
& we can be so savage
ignoring the other one’s level.
o welder brethren,
i can’t imagine being able
to reset this & start over
w/ knowledge & currency.
if we saw what ledge came
next after those messages
we could do it all right,
back as GAME GENIEs
to school all the others.
i wonder what was all that fault
growing b/w us?
b/w us GAMEBOYs
b/w screen windows we couldn’t open
together. suppose it was the same
space time silence w/in our U.S.?
our brothers of the unknown ancient man /
worn souls / jammed / small sponge brains /
saturated / machine / energy vibrations /
angles / wasted youth / away / land of mines /
could it mean we shared nothing?
silent spirits— all lives lost— despite spite—
w/ space time online—
& worlds unseen
w/ ghouls & ghosts— about us now—
i’ll level with you, stranger,
if my brother sends a gif to my 3G GALAXY—
it’s like a homing red turtle shell
that spins my heart’s s-mart engine
out of any battery red zone.
film resurrection / consoles / it’s like mining for gold / b/w us / 1up / i win you / treasures / points / shockers / understood / mary’s yew twig intricacies / points / for our favorite / serials / streams / wax / reappearances / points / money comes & goes / motors / actors / pointing / flags / points / visuals / points / lines / did you watch? / comes from money / can’t believe we never saw that one / plug-in company / current / are you watching? / shows as currency / points for viewing / marks / videos / shows / cell blocks / brave computer mainframes / page / page / page / did you fall asleep? / make a point / shipment shape / laptops / vessels / capsules / cartridges / the vereen screen / no. fifteen / one house / one box / one tube / YOUTUBE / level up / crash / SYSTEM OVERLOAD @$%&(*%#≠ \ 01010 \ request backup