Comedy = Tragedy + Time

There are six images on the cover of this history book

two are of triumphs of history

four are of our tragedies

four still-shots like x-rays

showing the cancer of society

still, the book sleekly presents three of the four tragedies with a smile

there is a photo of John F. Kennedy smiling

while riding in the cavalcade in Dallas

there is a picture of Benazir Bhutto smiling

arriving back in Pakistan the day before her assassination

there is a picture of a smiling Princess Di

moments before she’d be Princess Dead.

The only honestly depicted picture of tragedy

is the shot of the the plane crashing in to tower two on 9/11

the plumes of smoke rise up to the feet of Neil Armstrong

holding what was once an American flag

replaced by the title of the book:

Where Were You When?

Um, I was throwing up all over the cover of your book.


4 thoughts on “Comedy = Tragedy + Time

  1. granbee

    Me, too, Peter–I agree with you wholeheartedly: this type of title for a book featuring such horriffic trajedies is just EVIL, somehow! Do you think the authors/publishers/editors really knew how flippant that title would come across to such sensitive, caring persons such as ourselves? Thank you for taking this position in this effective poem-post today!

  2. Steven Myers

    this history book you describe seems like an infomercial
    in a very entertaining and absurd way.
    i can’t put my finger on why, but it’s something like
    the smiling stewardess offering coffee or tea
    as the plane drops 10,000 feet in 7 seconds.
    “21st century schizoid”
    i never understood why the american tourist bureau
    didn’t offer excursions through native american lands.
    not history or herstory, but a new story told in a million different blues
    or however many tribes or clans or whatever there were.
    it may seem like exploitation, but it costs money to visit museums
    and americans love museums and cival war trivia and pour tons of money into
    making more his stories like the museum ones.
    they might even alter the american flag and anthem.
    the stars and strips need some company. “dialogues blooming in air.”

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      I like your take on The Star Spangled Banner. It’s a song I love to sing. I find at most Jays games I am the only one who sings both anthems. I prefer the American for the drama, the phrasing, the bombs bursting in air, though, I know, it is indoctrinating us into a land of violence, I’m ready to take on the Yankees with The American anthem. And I love the irony that it was written to take on the British, the music comes from an old British drinking song.


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