Tag Archives: celebrity

Celebrity Deaths

Originally posted on 6/28/2009.  

our rules say

mourn the famous
and those made famous

by dying

so I shall write a poem of mourning
in which I confess that I
do not mourn them
except in the sense 
of mourning those things 
they are no longer
here to produce
which I might have enjoyed
or employed
for my own purposes and 
satisfactions

behold
the tears of a consumer

those times I can use
a celebrity death
for my own purposes
are when I feel
most American


Celebrity Deaths

since it is decreed
that everyone shall mourn them
I shall write a poem of mourning

in which I say that I do not
mourn them

except as selfishness applies
in the sense of mourning
things they are not here to produce
which I might have enjoyed
even though I did not enjoy
the products they did produce
when they were here
so I do not mourn
what potential they did not achieve
as it was nothing I anticipated

if I mourn anything
in a genuine way
I mourn the connections I have made
with others in heated discussions
of the worth or character of the dead
and their efforts

the memories of the faces of those
who joined me in my opinions
and argued on my side and then
we went for breakfast still talking
of anything other than where we began

and the faces of those who later became friends
agreeing to let the disagreements stand
as no obstacle to respect
so we shared a drink and talked again
of anything but the topic that separated us

what those who died have done for me
is offer me
a place to stand while i determined
my own path

what they did is only as important to me
as to how much it allows me
to make my own stand

it makes me
feel all-american
to use a celebrity death
for my own purposes

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