Sunday, June 28, 2009

Being a Myth

This poem was written back in graduate school. I had just come back to my group house from a long and tiring political meeting. A party was underway and I saw the man I was in love with dancing with another woman. I slipped quietly back to the kitchen to get a beer to take up to my room, to just drink and try to forget what was going on downstairs.

In the kitchen, a person I did not know approached me and asked my name. When I told him, he exclaimed: "Wow! You're a myth!" Well, I didn't feel like a "myth"; I felt like a loser. I took the beer up to my room and wrote the following poem. It comes back to me every now and again and it came back to me tonight.

You see, I can feel when a touch is loving or possessive and controlling. When I came up to speak with you, all you cared about was that bloody contest. It didn't matter that we were almost all present (unlike any of the other groups except the host one), and this in spite of the fact that several of our families lost their homes and had to move recently. You didn't see us and yet our presence and unity beyond the losses we have endured is a greater testimony to what you have achieved than this contrived publicity stunt. In the end, ego and love cannot co-exist. Eventually you have to choose which one matters to you.

Being a myth is a trip and a half
Like worshipping God while you're the gold calf.
This is your life so you might as well laugh.
They think you're the wheat when you know you're the chaff.

Being a myth is just fine for a while,
Watching your fans with a slow, knowing smile
And a mind that keeps names in an orderly file.
Why change your life? Why not just change your style?

Being a myth means that you must uphold
Your reputation as stories unfold
And work to improve on the image you've sold.
Being a myth makes you "hot" when you're cold.

Being a myth, you're too good to be true
Just like a mirror that no-one sees through.
People will watch their reflections in you.
You take no risks while your kudos accrue.

Being a myth, you are free to be crass.
Making the papers each week gives you class.
All of your friends become part of the mass.
Being a myth is a pain in the a**.

1 comment:

  1. I didn’t grabbed a beer but we had some mean sangria that night 31 years and 5 days ago and she was with that marvelous white dress dancing with my “bests friend” Well… myth may shape reality in many occasions, so one thing let to another and to another and that’s indirectly the cause of why I am in this country today.