I once shone a torchlight on the floor
and made the cat scramble about the house,
trying to pin it down with his sharp claws

as if it was another scrawny mouse.
At least he was wise enough to give in
unlike the blinkered hordes of our species

who never seem to get bored of chasing
a tiny fickle spotlight, I guess fame
requires as many hearts as Aztec sunshine—

our state religion, our zero sum game.



The bright and boisterous talent show supplies
the Sunday worship for the populace
who know that these are the true Songs of Praise

as we, the faithful, get to choose the face
that will beam back from poster boards and buses
before it ends in failure and disgrace.

The Archbishops will wrongly blame their losses
on secularism’s multi pronged attack.
If faith has been the opiate of the masses

then fame marks when we’ve moved on up to crack.

Canto XXV

I love the scene in Hero when the scribes
practice their brushmanship as arrows fly.
They do what they have done all of their lives—

they ply their craft until it’s time to die.
You never make it. All you do is write.
To say it’s otherwise is just a lie.

Fuck the Eliots, Fuck the Forward Prize.
Fuck the magazines and the bookstores.
And if the call of fame widens your eyes

reality shows will always need new bores…

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