after quarantine binge-watching
I did not stay up to pen a poem
while screening Scottish history
with unaccented moans.
This series has got me going
five episodes a day
no end in sight
just me working to justify
lost hours of my life.
I’m not kidding myself, nor do I believe
these kilt-skirted men are kin to me.
They drink whiskey at every turn
betwixt and between wars
gory knife assaults and corded whip scars.
When Jamie says Claire, it gurgles like a curse
way back in his throat
as if he might end up
with spittle spraying from his mouth.
Then there’s the ubiquitous red hair–
daughter Brianna more persimmon
than her pumpkin spice progenitor.
I hate these characters, my brain rails,
yet I’ve grown used to seeing
Jamie’s tight arse and Claire’s 34 Bs,
and the way they lunge at each other
as if they’ve never kissed before
at the end of every other scene.
Still, if I hear one more uttered
Bairn or Kin ta ya…
I don’t know what I might do.
And no one, not one of them,
bathes enough for me.
Artress Bethany White:
“Outlander Blues” was inspired by the popular series of its eponymous title and an evolving collection of poems on my transcultural familial history. Like many people, the current pandemic, and subsequent quarantining, has lured me into binge-watching as a default form of home entertainment. The poem explores the love/hate relationship that often comes with any leisure pastime that takes us away from professional endeavors, even amid an unprecedented epidemic. I capitalize on humor as a means of circumventing the shame of shirking work for play. To accomplish my goal, I rely on a somewhat regular rhyme scheme to trivialize the formulaic, dramatic details that are a staple of binge-worthy programming. While the series gives viewers a unique cultural perspective on Scottish history, it also offers up plenty of amorous intrigue and reality-defying plot twists. I allude to enough series particulars for fellow bingers to recognize themselves in the poem and for the uninitiated to relate to oft-used strategies of the entertainment industry at large.
Image: Outlander, 2014, copyright Starz Network