Our Favorite Programs That We Can’t Watch

John Buckley and Martin Ott


Mom hates Devastator Island’s cool gore, and pops

us when we pretend to be Captain Carnage at church.


“Professor X is a gimp,” Freddy taunts my idol

on the day that I try to melt his Pokemon cards


with heat vision, not Dad’s Marlboro lighter

like that doofus school rent-a-cop claims.


We search the girls' locker room for signs

of alien transformation like we learn from Mitsu


Star, our bootleg anime stashed in our bedrooms

on random weeks like terrorist cells on America's


Most Hunted. Our Koran is Urotsukidoji: Legend

of the Overfiend, and we bend down to memories


of its probing limbs in the bathroom. Uncle Kenny

says when drunk that he and Dad had to survive


with diagonal boobies on the encrypted adult channel.

Grandpa swears the rotating channel listings contain


cryptic messages of the Rapture every seventh viewing,

but we distract him with virile cowboys and sad wives


on the Mexican soaps, and he screams for bullets

like he did in ‘Nam. QVC sometimes sells rabbit


vibrators when we sneak down for midnight grub,

and we worry about the fate of animals in small cages.


One network showed an edited Cheech and Chong movie.

We didn’t get it, but our old, forbidden babysitter said


they’re real funny. We learn to scan neighbors' windows,

department store TVs and phone screens for the terrible


and tasty. Our own show is being filmed right now, caught

in wide eyes and shaking lenses, a lethargic alien armada


slapping tentacles at our adventures as we sneak through

the cracks, behind the scenes, away from parents’ screams.

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790