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Simon Joseph Ortiz (1941-)

Portrait of a Poet with a Console TV in Hand


              1I bought that TV at John's TV
              2on College Avenue in San Diego
              3and lugged it all the way home
              4on the Greyhound bus.

              5Sitting in Phoenix bus depot
              6waiting room, TV sitting on my lap,
              7I felt foolish as I watched
              8depot officials grab an old man
              9derelict as he searched dazedly
            10into an open locker compartment.
            11They pushed him reeling out
            12into deadly stunning American city.
            13At 12:30 A.M., there wasn't anything else on,
            14just that already too late, late channel.

            15I had known that I would be coming home
            16but the TV-in-hand bit
            17was an entirely new angle, and I think
            18that it must have to do with an odd madness.


Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Ortiz, Simon J. Woven Stone. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1992: 78.
Publication date note: Ortiz, Simon J. Going for the Rain. New York: Harper and Row, 1976: 40.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/6/21


Other poems by Simon Joseph Ortiz