Ian Ayres

The Sparkle Of Extinct Stars - Poem by Ian Ayres

Dying TV sucks stars into a deep green void
& I'm reflected there, on my knees for nothing
nothing but this audience in my head
these front-row critics telling me I don't matter
this gun to my left temple
cocked, with tense black finger ready to squeeze
the trigger, the trigger
& my brains will explode out my skull
grayish-orange on graffiti wall
as I stare into dilated, cracked eyes
bugging out of his wet, street-stricken face
sweating poison, hate & fear
telling me white boy ain't got no business
in a black junkies' ghetto
cold barrel pressed to my temple's throb
a simple flex of his finger &
Oh, God, help me!
till something inside me clicks
& I know I'll be forgotten
by my mother in prison, blocking out truth
tuning in to comedy
change the channel & it's just the news
showing an 18-year-old white male corpse
under a sheet in a condemned building
forgotten the second commercials begin
& I promised God, if that trigger wasn't pulled
I'd become so famous I'd live on in the minds
of every generation to come
'Fame, fame, fame' blasted from my stereo
as I lived to record my existence: Forever
so when I'm stardust in a box I'll be
communing with fans flowering my grave: Forever
till 20 years later
my friend Allen made it clear not even our planet's
& he aimed the bloodstained tip
of his diabetes test-strip
at the candle & its pulsing flame
at the door in its light-seeping frame
at my arm, down its rising blue vein
& called it all the same shimmering energy
for day is stardom engulfed in night
to different layers of light
like when I was 8
& my eyes were camera shutters
that caught each passing freeway lamp
me, looking up, alone in the backseat
while our drunk father drives
his fingers into my little sister's crying 'no'
my eyes catching each bright light
zooming in, zooming above
flashing like camera-bulbs
taking pictures of the future me
just a quick shut of my eyes
'no' my sister scoots away
but he orders her to sit close, as usual
& more pictures are taken of the greatest dreamer
the world has ever seen
because of the alarms screaming
because our ship is sinking
because I'm trapped in air
mesmerized by the sparkle of extinct stars
& breathe in the illusion
that Fame can last Forever
though I gasp when she gasps, drowning
yet hang on to dreams of going down
in a history that's going down
as I climb to the heights of stardom
where my eyes will widen, with one final tear
& my mouth will open
in disbelief
not knowing what to do at death
except pretend?
pretend I'm a success?
filled with fear
doubts that linger
of not having loved enough
not having saved her

Topic(s) of this poem: death, fame, love and dreams, memory

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Poem Edited: Wednesday, February 3, 2016

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