Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Celebrity Author


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Celebrity Author

I think I know what the celebrity-author was
thinking: Get me out of here. He wore
fame like a hair-shirt. The thing is, the money
is great, adulation's like liquor, and it's nice
to be thought a genius. So there he was, and
there we were. Nonetheless,

he squirms and fidgets. He goes on too long
and comments on his commenting like a daft
monarch. He doesn't like other people's wit
because it shows everybody's witty and fame
is, alas, more arbitrary than not. Of course,

we'd all trade places with him in the Land
of Hypothetica, especially because we'll never
have to. He won the lottery, he's a good writer,
and there's a wider justice in his fame. Still,

he itches and scratches, poses and opines,
tries to say shocking things, grins guiltily,
reminds us of his fame and wit and money
at certain intervals, and suspects what he
knows to be true: that we, too, can't wait
for the evening to be over.

Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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