Craig Morgan Teicher


 


Paris Hilton

 

       1

Damn the blasted blasting
of the blubbery heat: it's like
waking in the morning
with a frog on my face,
a warm one.  Who says
"blasted"? Is it pirates
who said it in their day?
And who has picked up
their fallen flag and
carried on?  For that is what
must always happen with all things
human: they march beneath
a banner, which inevitably
falls, and is picked up by someone proud
to use the old symbol
to advertise a new way
of cleaning the sheets: remember
the skull and sickle, the stars
with Mickey Mouse ears, the
red sun and tricolor lion.
History does not repeat itself:
we rehearse the future,
making slight changes to one scene
or another, trying to get it right
before the tragedy or triumph
of opening night.

 

       2

It's never coming, you know,
someone said to someone else,
with a grin on his face
as cracked as a fresh Pangaea.  A bridge
collapsed today in Minneapolis,
and mayors all over the country
are dispatching their best
to inspect the country's worst
bridges.  If that's' not a metaphor
then surely a church bell is, like
the one that's ringing outside
my window right now, counting
up to the hour at hand, wasting
the time it takes to tell the time.
Even if, finally, there is no
grand gesture that the words
add up to, of which we can be
proud, at least at the many petty
stops on the way, there are
certainly intriguing symbols, or vending
machines or both.

 

       3

Most of us get our news
from the Web, which publishes
faster than events can unfold, or faster
than the mourners can take stock
of their loss.  The elegies are written
before their subjects have had time
for failing health to kick in,
before the heart attack has had
the chance to recruit its mercenaries
or before our boys are dispatched
to their doom.  Before Paris Hilton
was imprisoned, the yellow ribbons
were up, already begging
to send her home.  For Paris
Hilton is our iconic blond, our
Marilyn Monroe or
poor princess Di—Paris
even said so in the pages
of a gossip rag—and poetry,
serious poetry, of which
Paris Hilton is now the subject,
meaning she's more chimera than heiress,
is a symposium of icons,
whose meaning, like the name of the professor
of a class hastily added just before
the semester begins, is TBD.
And have we outlasted the age
of the STD?  Has the Internet outfoxed
the FCC?  Will you be
my BFF and text me
until our days are done
or it's time to change plans?




© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review