Diamonds of the sky
falling westward toward Hollywood
tell us your song.
I love a good success story. If you grew up smoking crack and wearing tube tops, even better. There is something about the rise of fame that infectiously turns America’s attention to center. In a recent poem, Star Shine, as excerpted above, I lay out the scene of Hollywood’s eager line of willing participants smoking their cigarettes under a hopeful sky. It’s as much about desperation as it is about dreams. Forget apple pie and lame ass Chevys, that’s America.
I’m a huge fan of the show, A Day in the Life, created by Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame. Each episode features one rising star including musicians, chefs, actors, politicians, comedians, and writers. Season 2 includes the music group Das Racist, actor Joel McHale, and Mayor John Fetterman. I watch this show with the fascination most people reserve for Dancing with the Stars, “Look at this guy! He’s a world famous chef but he runs around New York in crocs and orange shorts! You can actually see his legs!” That’s Mario Batali. And he can do that because he’s Mario Batali. He walks onto the set of the Chew and does his thing. I put that ensemble on in Michigan and it’s back to the psych ward.
And then there’s Das Racist who has no explanation for the meaning of their controversial band name although they admit they’ve been trying to figure it out. Only three really famous guys of color can get away with that sort of shenanigans. The point here is that when the fame fairy hits you with her magic stick, you are now elevated and protected from having to explain yourself. You simply are you.
I admire them for their talents and quietly forget that they’ve probably thrown up cereal on themselves before just like I did on myself last week. And so what if Florence of Florence and the Machine set her hotel room on fire with Kayne West? She’s Florence and if I had a voice like that, I’d set the whole hotel on fire. This is the glory of fame. You get to dress like a weirdo, act like a criminal, and meanwhile pretend that it’s just an accident you got this far.
Who doesn’t want to live that life? I am dreaming up my own personal ascent into madness, ahem, fame right now. I write a book on the theory that barnyard animals are actually reincarnated Catholic saints and by association, their poop is holy. Flies become ardent worshippers and people around the world all become vegan. Global warming is reversed and I am awarded the Nobel Peace Prize but I am too humble to accept it. I hang out with the Dalai Lama and we set my hotel on fire. Then, I walk out to the cameras in hot pink capri shorts and flip flops and state that I ate part of my bedspread last night.
It could happen. In the meantime, I have to downplay my White Panda obsession and the fact that I don’t leave my house most days of the week. Sure, it’s a little eccentric but I’m just practicing for the big time.