Ron Riekki, Mute Button

MUTE BUTTON
Ron Riekki

I use it like religion,
the commercials silenced
so that I strain
my back
diving for the thing.
My dad says there should be
a blind button
so we wouldn’t have to see
the one thousandth freaking
Gieco commercial—
however you spell it.
We keep yelling “uncle!”
I worked for a week
at the front desk
of an ad agency
and I swear to God
I heard an employee
say they were looking
at brainwashing techniques
and how they could apply them
to ads.  I quit
before the end
of the week.
My cousin said no,
there should be a def button,
where you just press it
and instantly everything
is nothing but hip-hop.
My mom said that’s all
we need is another button
on a remote control
that already has a hundred
goddamn buttons.
She talks like that,
uses the f- word
more than anything
you’d ever hear
on HBO.
No commercials
on that channel,
thank God above.
I wish I could afford it.
I wish I could afford silence,
the ability not to be brainwashed
by these companies who we pretend
don’t have such strong connections
to the Holocaust,
to slavery,
to the way that class
crushes
us
in line,
in life,
in classrooms,
inevitably
in everything
we do
like birds beating
their angels to death.

Bio: Ron Riekki’s books include U.P.: a novel (Great Michigan Read nominated), The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book), and Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (May 2015, Michigan State University Press).  His screenplay The First Real Halloween was selected as best screenplay in the sci-fi/fantasy category for the 2014 International Family Film Festival.


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