Tag Archives: celebrities

“War”

I
In Love and War, what’s foul is labeled “fair”
(At least that’s what a lot of people claim).
For love of Fame to cause a war’s not rare—
Desire can turn to wild what once was tame,
And winners often are the bold who dare
To play as though contestants in the game
Obeyed, at most, a single ruthless rule:
That mercy is the virtue of a fool.

The present episode will illustrate
How flames of envy’s fiercely raging fire
Can burn a friendship ‘til what’s left is hate.
To save myself from readers’ anxious ire,
I’ll start my tale and end your restless wait
To hear my song of anger and attire:
I’ll tell how dearest friends were turned to foes
When Fate arrayed the two in matching clothes.

II
Once Missy Priss and Kimberley McQueen—
The heroines who occupy this episode—
Were friends as close as Earth had ever seen
(Or poet praised in eulogizing ode).
But, as a tower never known to lean
One day might crack and suddenly implode,
Some friendships crash as quickly to the ground
As lightning seen ahead of thunder’s sound.

The cause that brought their lovely friendship down
And made eternal rivals of the pair
Was nothing other than a gaudy gown
The ladies both were seen one day to wear.
The Queen of Fashion’s chrome and golden crown
Was not an ornament they’d gladly share.
The choice of dress appeared to each to say,
“A fearsome fashion war is underway.”

Once Missy saw the latest breaking news—
Which showed McQueen enjoying drinks and lunch
While wearing Missy’s style of gown and shoes—
She quickly ate her bowl of Cocoa Crunch,
Then rushed to find McQueen at Eats and Brews
(To give her face a bruising power punch).
On reaching Kimmy, Priss did what she’d planned—
She gave her face a not-so-helpful hand.

Then, Missy shrieked, “How dare you steal my style
And strut around as though it were your own!
That masterpiece, designed by Leonard Lyle,
Was meant to beautify my form alone.
And now the world will think that, all the while,
I’ve tried to be your slavish fashion clone.”
The bruised and bloodied Kimberly McQueen
Replied that Missy’s skin was turning green

(Which, readers know, is often Envy’s shade).
Then Kimmy said, “It’d be a sorry waste
To only dress a plain but haughty maid
In clothing suited more to royal taste.
If gowns could choose, they certainly would trade
A girl ignored for one who’s wildly chased.
If gowns could talk, they’d say, “I don’t delight
In clothing bottoms full of cellulite.”

Offended, Missy gave her gut a kick
(Each moment seemed to make her rage increase),
Yet, Kimmy’s hands delivered not a lick,
[But not because she sought to keep the peace—
She fought with words and never stone or stick
And favored most the Nasty Press Release
Of any lethal weapon one could choose
Because it helps to shape the public’s views].

III
The rage of Ajax Telamon denied
His prize of armor great Achilles wore—
The rage which drove the man to suicide
And then to Hades’ life-forsaken shore—
Would match the ladies’ rage if multiplied
Perhaps a hundred thousand times or more.
…And feeding anger better left unfed
Were words the House’s chatty servants* said.

*The Press [servants in the House of Fame]

The servants formed a pair of warring camps
(A group on Kim’s and one on Missy’s side).
The words they wrote and spoke became the lamps
That served the voting public as a guide
To granting Popular Approval Stamps
To Missy or the foe with whom she vied.
Debates about who best had worn the gown
Incited fights on streets in ev’ry town.

And soon the people also would debate
About* whether Missy should forgive
Or whether Kimmy’s acts had earned her hate.
Some thought it best to make one’s heart a sieve
(Which filters dross to reach a purer state*),
But others wondered how McQueen could live
And shouted, “Kim McQueen deserves the chair
For wearing what she had no right to wear.”

*meter trumps grammatical correctness

*What passes through the sieve,–and not the sieve, itself—reaches a purer state

“McQueen’s among the worst who have betrayed.
Aeneas leaving Dido’s sandy shore
And Brutus piercing Ceasar with his blade
Are slight compared to Kimmy’s act of war.”
To bloody Mars the warring parties prayed.
They crossed their hearts devoutly and then swore:
“By God and everything in which I trust,
I know my cause to be the one that’s just.”

Behind computer screens, each raging horde
Prepared to give the foes their just desserts.
With barbs they borrowed from a comment board
And “I Adore McQueen” or “Missy” shirts,
They armed themselves before they wildly warred
And caused the blood to flow in crimson spurts.
[All thought that Kim and Missy’s bitter feud
Would only end if civil war ensued.]

IV
…To tell of tears and blood the people shed
Surpasses any mortal poet’s skill.
To say that armies drowned in seas of red
Or piles of corpses made a human hill
(Or any metaphor a poet’s said)
Would not deserve the name of “overkill.”
Instead of seeking heights I can’t attain,
I’ll leave the rest to ev’ry reader’s brain.

I’ll only tell you what the war achieved:
As often happens when two armies strive
To win the crown for causes much believed,
The heroic leaders kept themselves alive
While soldiers’ friends and kin were much bereaved
That loving husband John did not survive.
And, once the course of war was fully run,
The parties both exclaimed, “Hurray, we’ve won!”

Servants of Higher Culture [ENTERTAINMENT NEWS]

[“Servants* in the House of Fame”] from The New House of Fame by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess

You’ll have attendants noting what you eat
And writing on how many times you chew
While others talk about your famous feet
And ponder how you tie a tennis shoe
Or what you wear when on the toilet’s seat
Or—if you’re British—going to the loo.
The House’s servants busily will strive
To analyze all moments you’re alive.

[Some servants buzz, as busily as bees,
about one’s style of skirt or party dress
and if it complements her waist and knees.
Another servant writes a merry mess
about her blouses and accessories–
or if she should apply more blush or less.
(Without the gossip that they write and say,
How would we ever make it through the day?)
——————————————————————
And given slightest knowledge of details,
the servants analyze one’s luck in love:
“It seems a famous marriage always fails
–As though an order came from high above–
When Mister wears a coat that’s lacking tails,
And Missus wears a single gloomy glove.
By body language one is not misled.
Observe the way he holds his handsome head.”
————————————————————-
These clever critics serve our planet’s cultures–
with witty charm and penetrating sight–
(…As carcasses are served by kindly vultures. )
Productive words they say on shows or write
Construct their classic, tow’ring verbal sculptures
(…Less salutary than a serpent’s bite. )
Their words on what a star will do or wear
Defend our souls from dismal, dark despair.]

“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”
I.
7
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.


I.8
“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

“More Community Service”

from Part II of The New House of Fame–by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/an-introductory-guide-to-becoming-rich-and-famous-2/

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.

Celebrity Baby Names

“A Famous Name”–from Pt II of The New House of Fame by Paul “Whitberg” Burgess:

https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/an-introductory-guide-to-becoming-rich-and-famous-2/

On normal, trite, and boring children’s names
The House has lately passed a legal ban.
You must not have a Jill, a John, or James
But rather Grapes, The South, or Wat’ring Can.
I might suggest a Lens or maybe Frames–
Or Pressure Pot, The Wok, or Frying Pan.
Your children’s lives will be a lot more fun
With names like Arrow, Knife, and Laser Gun.

 

“Further Woes of Being Famous”

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

II.?
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.

II.?
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.

*The poor. [Poetic license is my poor excuse for ambiguity;]

II.
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 I.2

The stanza is likely more enjoyable in context:

https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/an-introductory-guide-to-becoming-rich-and-famous-2/

“Tragic Woes of Being Famous”

or “The Sufferings of the House of Fame’s Residents” [selections from Part II of The New House of Fame by Paul Burgess]

II.?
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?

II.?
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.

*The Press.

II.?
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.

II.?
“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.

II.?
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. *”

*The poor
*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:

https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/an-introductory-guide-to-becoming-rich-and-famous-2/

“Wealth”

[Some amenities in the House of Fame] [A new stanza from “Part II” of The New House of Fame by Paul Burgess]
II.?
If Fame becomes the house you call your home,
You’ll have the goods that make the Muses sing:
Garages full of cars with rims of chrome
And limbs adorned with shiny, sacred bling
[To best the richest priests in holy Rome.
Perhaps the Pope will even kiss your ring…]
You might decide to own exotic pets
Like tigers, kangaroos, or marmosets.
II.?
If tired of whitish teeth inside your jaws,
Have braces made from rare, expensive ores—.
For work by one’s cosmetic dentist awes
As much as that of normal Nature bores.
The House’s newest set of tacit laws
Proclaims that teeth must shine like cans of Coors
And ev’ry gaze into your looking glass
Remind you of your economic class.
II.?
When products please you at a shop,
You’ll say, “I’ll take at least a thousand more!”
A star enamored of a vendor’s crop
Might soon decide to buy the chain or store.
The cash will flow and never slow or stop–
Your luxuries will fill a nation’s shore!
Much time and thinking will be wisely burned
On finding ways to spend the wealth you’ve earned.

If you enjoy these stanza, please read the larger, ever-growing poem of which it is a part:

https://paulwhitberg.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/an-introductory-guide-to-becoming-rich-and-famous-2/