Poem: Not Famous

Not Famous

There was a time I wanted to be famous.
I almost made it before falling apart,
and like a stray cat, crawled into a dark place
to heal or die.

I did not die of course. I am here
writing these words, slapping paint
on an already messy canvas,
walking away from the mass production
of a life lived chasing something that,
as it turned out, you never wanted,
others images and desires that convinced you
they were yours.

Silly boy.

I am far more a craftsman than a captain.
Happy to work on small things, to change lives
hands-on, not crowdsourcing any of it,
Face to face, one poem, one painting,
one prayer at a time. Never to be famous
hawking my wares on the Tonight Show,
content, no, eager to have a small following
of souls touched by my imperfection
as they touch others with their own, all of us
in a silent dance of love while the world around us screams,
we whisper.

About this poem.

This was going to be an essay. The muse, as she often does, had different ideas,

Once I had a girlfriend who always told me she expected to see me on Leno. I liked that thought at the time. Only, even if I had, I would have been unhappy and unreal. I know that now.

Once I was almost famous in my little industry. Successful despite myself. It was easy actually. Just wrong and as it turned out, a bit unhealthy.

The last decade of my life, for all the loss and struggle, has been one of my happiest.

I’d still love to be famous, but on my terms. Which likely assures I never will be.


PS: The picture was taken at the Hancock Shaker Village. Craftmanship over Mass Production. Memorable rather than Powerful. A lot like love.


  1. Making a difference in whatever ways we can wherever we are called has also felt more fulfilling and matters much more than “fame and fortune,” for me as well.

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