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Recorded for Poem-a-Day, November 7, 2016.
About this Poem 

“I wrote ‘The afterlife of fame’ after rewatching the 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard.  On this viewing, Norma Desmond seemed less of a monster; I had compassion for her as a victim of the impermanence of fame. I was also reading a lot of Emily Dickinson: ‘The World, will have its own—to do— / The Dust, will vex your Fame—”
—David Trinidad

The afterlife of fame

                          is dark
a neglected mansion

with vanishing court
rats in the empty pool

and antiquated actress
languishing

as ghost of her famous self
flickers in the projector’s beam

or framed in silver
haunts every room

Face unrecognizable?
Name forgotten?

O float me to Oblivion
in my swan bed

with my bandaged wrists
and doors shorn of locks

with swirl of my cigarette smoke
and glitter of my jewels

and silent flutter
of my weightless tulle
 

Copyright © 2016 by David Trinidad. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 7, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2016 by David Trinidad. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 7, 2016, by the Academy of American Poets.

David Trinidad

David Trinidad

David Trinidad is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Swinging on a Star (Turtle Point Press, 2017), Notes on a Past Life (BlazeVOX [books], 2016) and Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera (Turtle Point Press, 2013).

by this poet

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for Nick Twemlow

It’s annoying
how much
junk mail
comes through
the slot
& accumulates
at the foot
of the stairs

mostly menus
from restaurants
in the neighborhood

endlessly
coming through
the slot

despite

poem
                    What makes
                     a voice
                     distinct?
                     What special
                     quality
                     makes it
                     indelible?
                     Yours is plaintive,
                     as any singer
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poem

To be one such one—for one night only.
To be singled out
for this brief distinction

and fly first class (on miles),
wear black tie, walk red carpet.
To be met with smiles

and camera-flash
and then be asked,
by a stringer,
“Who are you?”

“A poet? What’s it

2