There are all these memorabilia shows on VH1 these days, documenting everything from Glam 80's Hair Bands to 1992, from the 50's to the 70's and then some. Often I am stabbed with vicious pangs of fond memories, of being alive when some of this was going on. But it really hits me when I pull a CD out of my collection and remember having the double record when I was 8. Yes, dear reader, this 20 something was raised on pop. Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Volumes I and II. Michael Jackson's Thriller, then his little sister's Control album. Dusty Donna Summers 8 track that got left behind. It was either that or what my parents call now "artery hardening music." I would shake my 2 year old rump to the song Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, thanks to mom and dad being born in 1938, their best years captured in yellow black and white photos. My mother in bobby socks and cat eye glasses. Then, when the 70's hit, it was bell bottoms and tank tops with Farrah Fawcett on them.

Raised on television. Learned to read early from Sesame Street and PBS. Almost a latchkey kid but not quite. First movie I remember seeing in a theatre was E.T. and then Ghostbusters. Saw Halloween from under my parents bed, hiding after bedtime. Picture Pages: Bill Cosby with an Afro. Square Pegs. After School Special. Simon, the game for the only child. Sit N Spin, banana seats, PoGoBall. Velcro and corduroy OP shorts. Earth tones.

They came in spastic, like tameless horses
They left in plastic, as numbered corpses
from Goodnight Saigon, Billy Joel

This was my first exposure to what Vietnam was. I watched them fetch Jessica from the well. I saw the Challenger blow up. I feared for my brother getting drafted for the Gulf War. I made fun of Ronald Reagan just like Robin Williams did when he was still using cocaine. My parents had the Playboy Channel, and when they left me alone for the first time at night, I sat paralyzed in the living room, fearing that the clown from Poltergeist would find me. When I hit puberty, they bought me a book.

You ever feel you got jipped just because of when you were born?

Cries of wild geese,
rumors
spread about me.

-Issa

Well that about sums it up for me.

Hair: my bangs were white and long, translucent in the morning sunshine.
I saw my brother's face,
the first face I remember distinctly, through shafts of
shaggy hair
which gave way to tight, dark curls
and clippers and scissors and dyes and irons
once I ditched it all, but for bangs less entertaining than dyke handles
still, it's pain
Also, flashes of light
that disappeared and racing my lengthening shadow down the block
I ran away once. The neighbors gave me licorice.
A series of interruptions, vulgarities and half-hearted prayers.

sitting up straight

in Sunday chairs and the state of my fliptop desk
the light in his eyes; the smell of his hair
faces, also, dumb from fear
trinkets, hearts and clubs

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