Monthly Archives: June 2014

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Kindly nominated by :

very-inspringawardI am grateful for and touched by Luccia Gray’s kind nomination of me for the *Very Inspiring Blogger Award*! It means a lot to me to be nominated by a gifted novelist and blogger:)

The rules of this award, which I have borrowed from, are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.

2. Display the award on your post.

3. List the award rules so your nominees will know what to do.

4. State 7 things about yourself.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.

6. Contact your nominees to let them know you have nominated them. Provide a link to your post.

7. Proudly display the award logo (or buttons) on your blog, whether on your side bar, ABOUT page, or a special page for awards.

Here are my 7 facts about myself:

1.After teaching academic writing for 3 years, I have recently begun working with an adult education program.

2. I speak English and Spanish, and I study Visayan and Tagalog.

3. My lovely wife–the one in the profile picture–is originally from the Philippines.

4. Although most of my posts are light poems, my favorite works to read are works of Western philosophy, Eastern philosophy (and especially Buddhism), Renaissance drama, Roman and Greek history and literature, and cultural studies.

5. Until I started this blog in May of 2014, I had not written a poem since 2006.

6. Our adorable West Highland Terrier is one of the world’s craziest creatures.

7. Blogging has been a great way for me to force myself to write. [During three years in which I taught writing, I wrote very little.]


My worthy nominees for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” are:


“Sympathy for the Famous Devil”

Some critics might, as youngsters call it, “hate”
And argue  that it’s utter vanity
To moan about  a life which seems so great.
Forgive their envy and inanity.
Who wouldn’t curse the cruel and crushing weight
Of famous living’s wild insanity?
We should salute the selfless sacrifice
You make to entertain us at a price.

Selections from The New House of Fame–by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess

“Thug Life”

“Thug Life”
Some find the place where Lady Fame resides
By seeming to defiantly rebel.
Tattoos that cover all but their insides
Proclaim they’re* demons full of raging Hell—
As do their raps on drugs and homicides
And wicked words they normally misspell.
Although they think their ways to be unique,
Their breed of fish would crowd the largest creek.

* The “they” of “they’re” refers to the those who “defiantly rebel” and not to the “tattoos;” poetic license is my excuse for allowing such an ambiguous phrase to stand. I will rid the poem of ambiguity in later drafts.

“Some Ingredients in the Thug Life Brew”

Instead of “ma’am,” their given names, or “Miss,”
You’ll call lovely ladies “bitch” and “hoe”
And greet a stranger with quite an angry hiss
Instead of “How’s it going?” or “Hello.”
Your rear, which cronies will so gladly kiss,
Must peak above the pants you’ll wear too low.
Just add a pinch of hard illegal drugs,
Then join the House’s artificial thugs.

Selections from The New House of Fame–By Paul “Whitberg” Burgess

“Pop Star”

A song might take you to the House’s* stair.
Although you sound just like an ill raccoon,
You have no reason, darlings, to despair
Or practice scales and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
Undress your body ‘til it’s nearly bare,
Then dress your naked voice in auto-tune.
You’ll rise on ev’ry major music chart
By learning how to dress and play the part.

*The House of Fame


You’ll never have to write or learn a song–
Just know its lyrics and your dance routine.
Although your singing’s not exactly strong,
Producers’ magic can deceive a teen.
Who cares about a note delivered wrong
When bathing in a tub that’s full of green?
What better proves a product truly great
Than being sold at such a rapid rate?

With instruments you’ll need facility
…enough to pick one up and seem to play.
The peak of musical ability
Is holding instruments the proper way.
With youthful swagger plus agility,
You’ll soon devour a crowd of willing prey.
Just learn to walk the walk and dance the dance–
I guarantee you’ll wear the Diva Pants.

selected stanzas from The New House of Fame–By Paul “Whitberg” Burgess


From The New House of Fame

The House is found on Paradise’s shore
Away from nations called “Reality”.
You’ll never look upon the puny poor
Whose days are filled with bleak banality–
Including picking dimes up off the floor
To pay the trains or buses’ trifling fee
And working sev’ral dreary daily jobs
To buy oneself some frozen corn on cobs.

Impoverished people, honest stars believe,
Have sunken low ’cause low they’ve always aimed.
The wisest stars, who never would deceive,
Insist the lowly lice should be ashamed
For envying what famous folks receive.
Who’d not agree with all they’ve sagely claimed?
They’ve worked so hard to earn their billion bucks
By playing chance and giving secret sucks .

“Andy Warhol–15 Minutes of Fame”

“Andy where’s my 15 minutes?”–David Bowie [Tin Machine’s song “I Can’t Read”]

From The New House of Fame by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess

To paraphrase the artist Andy Warhol,
All people visit for a quarter hour.
I know not much about the rise and fall
Of blossoms wilting once they briefly flower,
Or tourists standing in the House’s hall,
But only that to lose what’s sweet is sour.
Those placing faith in Fame’s atomic flash
Must run the risk of being turned to ash.

For more selections from The New House of Fame, please see the following post:

“Celebrating Criminals”

“Another Path to the House of Fame” [from The New House of Fame–by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess]

A risky *path that’s hard to recommend
Is being known as one who coldly kills.
Infamy’s said to be a loyal friend
To stardom-seekers lacking wealth and skills.
Since murderers are found at ev’ry bend,
You’ll need a crime where blood profusely spills.
The surest way to drive reporters wild
Is murdering a precious little child.

*While scandalous trials make one famous, the book deals and interviews benefit only those who are exonerated.

*Jeff and Jen Plus Ten*

[from The New House of Fame by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess]

Perhaps you’ll have a television show
About you laying like a fertile hen.
In any modern home where people go,
On ev’ry screen in ev’ry person’s den,
All anyone will hear about or know
will be your series Jeff and Jen Plus Ten.
For getting knocked up far too many times,
You’ll gain a name preserved in famous rhymes.


“More Community Service”

from Part II of The New House of Fame–by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess

Within your glowing aura, peasants bask

Because you’re loved well by the goddess Cash

And bathed in fluids from Her sacred flask.

You’ll help communities by clearing trash

…For photo ops, before you delegate the task—

And go inside (since heat might cause a rash).]

You’ll grab some garbage, hug a fan, and smile

…for pics, then fuss and stomp away in style.