Monday, December 12, 2016

"Adulation" by David Pring-Mill, Frequent Contributor

David Pring-Mill

A sea of hands –
all reaching out,
their fingertips, together merging
into spotlighted skin,
tickling the air.

As dusk hits dirt,
the performer belts out lyrics,
recalling syllables that were
once connected
to her intent, to her sonic expression.

But now these words have lost
all meaning, and yet
they make a thousand echoes,
this lamenting vocabulary
of warrior love.

And she nearly falls again,
so retro, with winged eyeliner, and beehive hair,
with a crown of roses, and she goes
stumbling, embracing,
pleading, and then sitting
with her back turned.
A struggling presence,
unable to assemble itself
from the wealthy conjunction
of worried cells.
Drunkenly, her lips
express an old flirtation,
exposing her fling
with the eradicated states.

and now...
The crowd turns against her,
frowning, angry!
Wondering where
is the cord in her back
so they can yank on it,
and make her sing that cherished tune.

Poet's Notes:  I wrote this poem after watching the Academy Award-winning documentary "Amy." I would never presume to fully understand somebody on the basis of his or her media portrayal. Insights are possible, but limited. And so this poem isn't about Amy Winehouse per se. It's more so about the relationship between celebrities and their fans. That relationship is oftentimes a dysfunctional one, in which celebrities are idolized and elevated to a status that is disproportionate to their societal accomplishments. Their privacy is compromised in ways that are consensual and involuntary and strong opinions and judgments are gleaned from unnatural interviews and paparazzi intrusions. This dynamic is dysfunctional from the outset and when you introduce a celebrity into the equation with internal dysfunctions, it's only a matter of time before the entire thing breaks down. People actually die because of this, and it's been happening for decades. My poem "Adulation" is about that process, primarily.

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