Tinsel Town.


it was your red carpet moment

--and you blew it.

showed up low lit and limo tinted

perfect shade of lipstick

steeped in borrowed bling

armed with your latest fling

the critics went ballistic

smelling drama-dripping

glitter-tripping fresh meat

on the newsstands

flashbulb blinded

stammer glamoured

in the crush of fickle fans

swept up in the limelight

dancing backwards in stilettos

you got one foot caught in the fabric

of a million people watching

…but the clothes were all wrong.

you were an unknown.

spliced, flawed, razor raw

resurrected from a clumsy tangle

of editing room litter

until some upside down tinsel town

astronomer spotted something

distant and galactic with a pulse

then catalogued it

and named it after himself.

but it was a low-budget flick

--a sleeper

that even the sweaty palmed

flesh pressing

paparazzi pop and sizzle pimps

and the sneak peeking
freak seeking

unforgiving close-up whores

who fan the flame

of fleeting cash

cheap trash

and flashy fame

couldn’t shake awake.

opening night was a bust.

detonated the box office

like a dirty bomb

flinging popcorn shrapnel around the lobby

with all the tumbled corpses left lying facedown

in puddles of their own red dye #3

(their mouths crammed with something

high priced and hollow

that was hard to chew

and harder to swallow)

all officially outlined in chalk

and strung with miles of

that black and yellow tape

cops use for winding around things

that need further investigating.

but you got fame-maimed

and chump-changed

you did the back row slump down.

you knew all the moves

tried the back stage duck out.

but you’re a name

you’re a face

you’re a back lot hot shot

cranking up the tunes and

cranking down the rag top.

forget the angst-black soundtrack

the panoramic pull back

the fade outs

the blown lines

and all the ruined exits

the never-knowing-how–to-feel


or how to tell

the good guys from the bad ones

and no more jumping

every time the sub woofers

thunder a climax like a theater quake

or being in the bathroom

and missing the best take.

Skulking towards the exit door

cloaked in thick curtains and enveloped

you were so hurried into the darkroom

that you never developed.

stuck between two worlds

you squeeze towards anonymity

as a brief, belated spasm of regret

shoots through you

wet and urgent as birth

the cord vibrates then slackens

and you slip out

and into something more comfortable.

fame strikes like a strobe light

leaves the burnt after-image

lingering like a cruel phantom

along the strip of cemented fame

crushed inside a footprint

traced around a name

lonely as a crooked letter

hanging from an old marquee

forgotten as a half-torn word

on a stubborn handbill

stuck to a pole beside a barroom

and doomed to forever flutter in the flicker

of burned-out neon.

© 2010 susan beck

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Comments 19 comments

Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 5 years ago

Trul a great read...Excellent work...Voted Up and Awesome

Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago

sheesh lmao I wasn't asking for more attention though I would be dishonest to say that some of your comments on my hubs have touched me deeply and I thought to return the favor nothing more. You are welcome by any time.

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

Glad to have you here Larry and Jagged-- thanks for stopping by and for the kind feedback. I will be visiting more of your wonderful and thought provoking hubs in the near future.


Jaggedfrost profile image

Jaggedfrost 6 years ago

lol I cant imagine why you wouldn't think anyone would care for this poem as it saves time and money required to read a rag at the local market. It was well done.

maven101 profile image

maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

Sue...I love your slam/bang rollicking style that keeps getting in your face..true grit, my friend...

Thank you for this amazing spin through tinseltown...Larry

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

thanks again, attempted humour. It's a good sign that you wanted to read it twice!

earnesthub--I'm so glad you dropped by! Thanks for the well-wishes.

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

Even more subtle, second time around. Lovely!

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Top class! I wish I knew this was here! This is just marvellous!

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

Thanks, attemptedhumour. Glad to have you in my corner.

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

Hey steel fields, you are a star in the real sense of the word and i'm staying on your good side as that kind of tongue lashind might be fatal. That was incredibly powerful, unique, clever, entertaining and down right bitchy. Loved every word what an epic, i'm jealous! Cheers

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

Thanks Wayne, for always reading and commenting on my stuff-- I really do appreciate and value your opinion. :)

PS ...never been a star never hope to be one.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Based on the level of detail, I have to ask if you lived this nightmare of a near-do-well star's life or did it just come to you in the night as you watch one of those award shows. LOL! Regardless, it is a dang good poem that takes some of the glitter and shine off Hollywood and tells it more like it would be. Good going! WB

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

saddlerider: I'm so glad you keep popping in. You always have such great comments. Thanks!

epigramman: I could say the same for you as for saddlerider. It took me forEVER to write this poem and I wasn;t even sure I liked it, as a whole. You guysmake me feel good about it. Thanks.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...everytime I come here - it's a red carpet moment!

You have such a poetic way with words - they are at your command and they are happy to be in your company!

And so are we!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

You've done it again. Taken it bare to the bones, dressed it all up with it's glamor and gore, spit out the tinsel along the way, whores and pimps and promises of fame, red swept faded carpets on the holly wood of shame, casting and bad takes, on her knees doing favors in the cutting room. Yes Steele you painted the pain very well, you had me from the tinsel to the cutting floor. Great work, I rate this way UP

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

thanks, pamela. your visit means alot.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Awesome poetry. You paint the picture so clearly that I very much enjoyed it.

Steele Fields profile image

Steele Fields 6 years ago from drexel hill,pa Author

Lorlie-- I am so very grateful for your support of my writing. Actually, I was hesitant to publish this piece (long story), so needless to say, I was amazed by your response to it. Not sure what Digg and Stumbleupon are, but I am gonna check them out and we'll talk again later. Please accept my sincere thanks for what you are doing on my behalf and for your kind words.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Dear God, woman-this is brilliant. It's moody. And has a bee-bop beat that absolutely floored me. It's rare that I find poetry so rich in imagery. I am truly impressed, Steele.

So, what I'm trying to accomplish is sharing this piece with my followers, post it on Digg and Stumbleupon. Got the Digg in already. Now for the others.

Your talent is incredible.

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