or “The Sufferings of the House of Fame’s Residents” [selections from Part II of The New House of Fame by Paul Burgess]
Although the House is large, you might complain
And call its spacious rooms a sort of jail
With pleasures not enough to soothe the pain
Of being trapped without a chance of bail.
And , truly, who wouldn’t start to go insane
From tortures such as answ’ring vexing mail
From fans who’d better pay for all you own—
Then kindly leave you and your friends alone?
At times, you’ll find your servants* tiresome, too
And say each one is like a prison guard
Observing and reporting what you do.
You should obtain a good attorney’s card
And learn the noble art of How to Sue.
Since, by their gossip, Pride is scourged and scarred,
Ensure a servant fond of talk atones
For stories keeping meat upon your bones.
Some days you’ll feel the bar is set too high,
For Fame requires such grueling daily steps:
…mascara put by pros above each eye…
…reclining while a stylist gently preps
Your hair. And who’d not rather ail or die
Than talk to teams of image-shaping reps?
To these, I’d add the pain of staying fit—
A torture even if you’re paid for it.
“In ways, it’s best to be among the poor,”
It’s said by stars who envy woes they* lack,
Along with:“Who critiques the clothes they wore
Or how they decorate a humble shack?
They have some peace when walking through the door–
But it’s reported when I eat a snack.
They also have such painless, easy jobs
And liberty to always look like slobs.
Oh, double-edged and schizophrenic Fate,
You mixed up mess I call both “charm” and “curse”!
This house contains so many things I hate,
Yet, well I know I’d rather have the hearse—
If not a deathly catatonic state—
Than leave behind my plat’num -plated purse.
Sometimes I wish I’d not been born
Or that I’d never leaked my private porn. *”
*See “Paths to the House of Fame” [I.2]
This section–like the rest of the poem–will continue to grow.
If you enjoy these stanza, please read the larger, ever-growing poem of which it is a part: