Two Poems: Eight Track Basement Blues / An Ode To Joey Bishop

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Christina M. Rau, Nassau Community College


About This Work

No matter what I think I’m writing about—in this case, technology and media—I somehow wind up writing about relationships. I have always thought I was born in the wrong decade, and so I constantly look back and grasp onto iconic symbols of the past. While compiling a list of songs that contain references to Shakespearean works, The Blue Oyster Cult’s eerie lyrics haunted me for days until I realized the song was lending itself to a retro-love poem in the form of “Eight Track Basement Blues.” The only way to love in the 70s was to be in a basement, play silly teenager games while listening to an 8-track, and to make sure at least one parent was outraged. Basically, my ideas about the 70s have come from watching time-warped television shows. Those shows also led me to write “An Ode To Joey Bishop,” capturing a different kind of impossible love story. My relationship with black and white tv is a love affair in itself, a nostalgia for a past I never experienced. The secondary affair is with the younger celebrity personality, whom I later saw on a color re-run of “Match Game” when he was older, grayer, much different from the black and white version, a let-down completely, proving that the past, no matter how fascinating, is where it belongs.


Two Poems by Christina M. Rau

“Eight Track Basement Blues”

Text version of "Eight Track Basement Blues"

“An Ode To Joey Bishop"

Text version of "An Ode to Joey Bishop"



Christina M. Rau is the founder of Poets In Nassau, a reading circuit on Long Island, NY. She teaches English at Nassau Community College where she also serves as Editor for The Nassau Review. Her poetry has appeared on gallery walls as part of The Ekphrastic Poster Show, on car magnets as part of The Living Poetry Project, and most recently in the journals Temenos and Contemporary American Voices for which she was the featured invited poet. In her non-writing life, she practices yoga on occasion, dances on other occasions, and watches reality television of which she is only slightly ashamed.


© 2013 Christina M. Rau, used by permission

Technoculture Volume 3 (2013)