Tag Archives: gossip

Rumor

…a fragment from an unfinished episode.

Of Rumor’s motives I’ve become suspicious
And found them things we frequently misjudge.
The gossip least correct and most pernicious
Is often spread by those who hold no grudge.
A lie’s propelled by people called “ambitious”
[Who sling a sewer full of slimy sludge].
It’s hard for hands to earn a lawful crown
But not for tongues to tear one’s wearer down

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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.]

An Introductory Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous *The NEW HOUSE OF FAME*

“The New House of Fame” [selections from a longer work] [all sections are in progress]

“Invocation”

Oh, Muse, assist me as I try to sing
Of subjects that surpass my scanty skill:
Of grand celebrities with brilliant bling
(whose blaze is bright enough to blind or kill);
Of Fame’s abode and noble acts that bring
a seeker to the House’s lofty hill.
Divinest Muse, I hope to be inspired
and not a poet some employer’s fired.
———————————————————
And, also, wondrous, holy, helpful Muse,
Ensure I say what’s true and good and right…
…or, at the least, what won’t ignite the fuse
attached to stars with cores of dynamite.
Assure me that no word or phrase I use
Will put me through a brawl or legal fight.
I hope my words are properly construed,
So I’ll not be  a poet stars have sued.

“Paths to the House of Fame”

I.1
The newly renovated House of Fame
Now welcomes those who once remained obscure.
There need not be a talent that you claim,
Such as painting or discovering a cure.*
If people like your clothes or fam’ly name,
Of endless press and cash you can be sure.
With luck you might become a superstar
No matter how inane and vile you are.

*Until I think of a better alternative, I will keep the ambiguous phrase “painting or finding a cure.” I am quite aware that people do not paint cures…
I.2
The journey’s smoothest for the young and lean.
First, make then leak a kinky video
And swear it was intended to be seen
By no one but your dearest Romeo.
The Lady Fame will crown you Drama Queen,
And have you join the House’s newest show.
You’ll know you’ve made it to the House’s top
When fans are paying just to watch you shop.
I.3
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.

I.4
An easy path to Fame that’s now been cleared
Will take you through the town of Not the Same.
To reach it, travel down the road of Weird.
“No others drive this road,” you’ll proudly claim—
Along with scores who down that road have steered
And labeled “wild” a street that’s paved and tame.
Your ways will soon be mimicked by the swarms
Of fans proclaiming hate for what conforms.
I.5
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 of the poem of ambiguity in later drafts.

I.6
Perhaps the surest way to find the House—
Aside from being born behind its doors—
Is to become a famous person’s spouse.
Your fans will multiply like fertile spores
If you become a star’s domestic louse
Or follow him or her on promo tours.
You’ll be the House’s queen or king
By virtue of your royal wedding ring.

I.7
Another way to reach the Lady’s gate
Is by presenting What You Think as News.
The people on your side will call you great
Whenever poison that your mouth so freely spews
Intoxicates those always drunk on hate
As if it were a pint of noxious booze.
With ev’ry “spinless” tale you dare to tell,
Your pockets, head, and shamelessness will swell.

 

I.8A 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.

I.9
If paths you’ve tried have seemed to always fail,
You need not perish from your heart’s distress.
Employ a crew to play the role of “tail”—
A group of followers surely will impress.
In little time, whenever you exhale,
you’ll cause a feeding frenzy in the press.
Once people see how madly you are chased,
They’ll think to praise you shows their flawless taste.

“Life In the House of Fame”

II.?
[“Entertainment News” (or “Servants in the House of Fame”)]

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 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.

II.?
[“Entertainment News” (or “Servants in the House of Fame”)]

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.

[“Tragic Woes of Being Famous” or “The Sufferings of the House of Fame’s Residents”]

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.

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. *”

*See “Paths to the House of Fame” [I.2]

*The poor

[“Public Service” (“Thank our Lucky Stars!”)
II.?
By serving nations and society
You’ll justify your fame (if not your birth).
You’ll teach the youth of safe sobriety
By driving drunk on alcoholic mirth–
Then paying fines with promised piety
And volunteering hours of boundless worth.
In ads, you’ll tell the children, “Stay in school!”
While proving that it pays to be a fool.

II.?

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.

[“Family Life in the House of Fame”]

II.?

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.
II.?
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.

II.?
Some spend a life with Fame and some a day.
One calls it “home”; another’s passing by.
I know how people come, but why they stay
Or go and why they rent a room or buy
A suite are riddles causing me dismay.
Some stars are buried there the day they die,
While others with equal shares of gifts to give
Depart quite long before they’ve ceased to live.

An Introductory Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous [Pt. VI]

“The New House of Fame”Part V

 

V.

If paths you’ve tried have seemed to always fail,
You need not perish from your heart’s distress.
Employ a crew to play the role of “tail.”
A group of followers surely will impress.
In little time, whenever you exhale,
you’ll cause a feeding frenzy in the press.
Once people see how madly you are chased,
They’ll think to praise you shows their flawless taste.

An Introductory Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous

“The New House of Fame” pts I-V”

An Invitation”
I.
The newly renovated House of Fame
Now welcomes those who once remained obscure.
There need not be a talent that you claim,
Such as painting or discovering a cure.*
If people like your clothes or fam’ly name,
Of endless press and cash you can be sure.
With luck you might become a superstar
No matter how inane and vile you are.

*Until I think of a better alternative, I will keep the ambiguous phrase “painting or finding a cure.” I am quite aware that people do not paint cures…

“Paths to the House of Fame”
II.
The journey’s smoothest for the young and lean.
First, make then leak a kinky video
And swear it was intended to be seen
By no one but your dearest Romeo.
The Lady Fame will crown you Drama Queen,
And have you join the House’s newest show.
You’ll know you’ve made it to the House’s top
When fans are paying just to watch you shop.
III.
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.

IV.
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 phrases to stand. I will rid of the poem of ambiguity in later drafts.

V.
Another way to reach the Lady’s gate
Is by presenting what you think as news.
The people on your side will call you great
Whenever poison that your mouth so freely spews
Intoxicates those always drunk on hate
As if it were a pint of toxic booze.
With ev’ry “spinless” tale you dare to tell,
Your pockets, head, and shamelessness will swell.

VI.

If paths you’ve tried have seemed to always fail,
You need not perish from your heart’s distress.
Employ a crew to play the role of “tail.”
A group of followers surely will impress.
In little time, whenever you exhale,
you’ll cause a frantic frenzy in the press.
Once people see how madly you are chased,
They’ll think to praise you shows their flawless taste.

Horse Love

Dedicated to fellow residents of Kentucky–a place where many people love nothing more than horses, basketball, and rumors:

love horses (509 x 600)[ image borrowed from http://www.horsenation.com ]

“Horse Lover”
It’s said by a reliable source
That your father’s too fond of his horse.
Will he have an affair
Or just marry the mare
Once your mother agrees to divorce?

A limerick by Paul Burgess