In the Public Eye

(This poem is a tribute to the artists from my childhood who lived and died highly public, highly tragic lives — people like Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, Dana Plato, Gary Coleman and now Whitney Houston. I hope they have found peace in eternal rest.)

in the public eye
a child can be raised up
strong-armed into submission and hoisted
above the shoulders of a colossus
left to wrestle with fate while suspended on high
only to be slammed into a canvas
painted with their naïveté
while the blood lust of the crowd
screams its pleasure into shaken ears

in the public eye we create darlings
who are given a loom and endless thread
with which to spin gold with their talents
while we allow the thread to knot
when left to unfettered devices
preferring to spin yarns of their memories
instead of weaving a beautiful tapestry
to capture their lively essence
and comprehending too late
always too late that the product
from such a wealth of raw material
formed under tremendous pressure
leaves a warped creation behind
fit only to be soaked then
hung out to dry

and in the same public eye
an unsuspecting dreamer can be elevated
on a hydraulic lift to theatrical effect
by the drama of actors and directors
with a major role and no minor implications
controls manipulated by strangers
then brought viciously back down to earth
by the dysfunction of the platform operators
who will return the next day and
play the same role the same way
despite the carnage they create

i have seen too many car wrecks
that can never be termed true accidents
and been privy to secrets so heart-wrenching
that we all know like the pattern of veins
upon the backs of our own hands
spilled like platelet beans and used for ink
on demonic contracts solely meant
to disenfranchise the vulnerable and
emasculate innocents masked from their true circumstances
to fuel the fire of the beast through power
generated from kids as kindling

there is so much dirt and there are so many lashes
accumulating in the public eye
it’s amazing it can see anything anymore
discern shapes and shadows one from the other
so it can distinguish shiny fanciful objects
from the singed supernovas of superstars
it tries ever more frantically to find bright lights
to stare into and through with laser focus
until the intensity of gaze incinerates the object of desire
leaving only charred ruin in its wake

tribute by tributary dammed while subject fried
then busted open and rafts of masses taken for a ride
once the star burned out, fizzled and died
only then could lids liquefy and overflow with pride

as the breathless sighs subside
it is only then when we fully recognize
after saline tears roll away and are swept aside
that there is now a new child shivering petrified
directly in line with the jaundiced crossed spy
of the public eye

and as another is groomed by the machine to be deified
then subjected to flashbulb rumours and false allies in disguise
only to be crucified on the altar of celebrity supersized
consumed ravenously by pop culture mass-produced lies

when the anointed one dies before our highly public eyes
we never stop to ask ourselves – why.

© A. Gregory Frankson, 2012. All rights reserved.

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About Cytopoetics

Cytopoetics was founded in 2007 to provide event planning, artist management and creative services rooted in the literary arts in general and spoken word in particular. Our motto is "Creativity in Every Cell" and our mission is "to present the vision that inspires others to positively change the world."

Posted on February 14, 2012, in General. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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