aside from the crayon I’d ground into the speakers
the only thing on TV was Woody Woodpecker

or at least that was all I could remember, the bird popping 
his head out of the trees and laughing at whoever 

wanted him dead. I guess I wanted more of that bird 
wanted to be in the trees, wanted his defiance 

my brain rotted by a three-colour cartoon and a limited
orchestra. my brain and the sounds in the house 

that were not quite music. that were limited, the laughter,
wanting the bird dead. we moved from that house

to another and another and another still, retreating finally
to a place where the birds made that sound themselves

high up knocking on the rotten wood. we were close 
in. we were living in a wood house they did not knock on.

the TV I last saw in a basement regularly flooded by rain
I would turn it on and let it speak in soft tones. I played

on the tiles. I let the sounds tell me what was and was 
not there. I tried to remember that they were far away

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