The 70s TV Face-Off: Tim Turnbull and Chris Emery
by Tim Turnbull
Now, what possessed your seven-year-old self
to moon so, for Alexandra Bastedo,
the home-grown, surrogate Bardot of Hove,
like an inchoate Young Werther? Heartfelt
it was, though inexpressible as yet,
clipping out the Titbits pictures and, Oh!
sigh at each new coiffure, each swimsuit pose,
burn, boy in anticipation of hells
to be endured, the sweet agonies to come
and Stuart Damon’s gorgeous, gorgeous eyes,
perfect hair, suit, pocket square – it’s killer,
nearly Perkins, man. Life won’t be humdrum
while we’ve such models. So hurry, time flies,
bring on the love interest, pass the mirror.
by Chris Emery
When I look back on those dossier-rich years, the brown packages
and latex cheeks, jet-fuming plans over arrogant sand, the dark cages
of Lubyanka, the high-kicking generalissimos in Colombia,
Mafia-hosted hoe-downs and all that Cold War paraphernalia,
what I never got was Willy: the gibbon with the giant neck.
What was it with the silent treatment, Jim? Was he a total wreck?
But then, what has the ass-whupping, Commie-smashing whole farrago
got to do with our America? I’m still in two minds about the show.
Did you ever fancy that each repetitious script
was just some pretext for the counter-counter culture? A crypt-
ic stab at hawkish new imperialism? Anyway, the seventh season
sorted all the Sam Browne-belted Slavs. I guess we always won.
Unmasked or Frenchified, the whole thing trimmed and canned
like that. Cinnamon’s objectified ass. Rollin’s sleight of hand.
Barney sweating over dials and knobs. Who thought it would outlast
the KGB, the Stasi and the rest, with such an over-earnest cast?
I have this dream of elevator shafts, tunnels, drain pipes, heights;
misdirected collapsing that ruptures into fights.
You know, I never would have left but for some extra’s crappy joke:
some lives are like a burning fuse, but yours is just a puff of smoke.
Tim Turnbull’s latest collection is Caligula on Ice and Other Poems
Chris Emery’s latest collection is Radio Nostalgia.