[“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.]