Trace the Fortunes-David Lohrey

The only President we’ve ever had who

Ignored Hollywood was George W. Bush. I doubt

That Meryl had him in for a strawberry brunch.

Did Ellen ever send him over a bottle of sparkling water?

Bush couldn’t have cared less; Barbara raised him

To stay away from trash. Up in Maine, the locals were rough.

He learned early. He learned the hard way.

Clinton was a star-fucker. He rented the Lincoln bedroom

To Charles Bronson, Streisand and, I’ve heard,

The President of Disney, possibly all on the same night.

The toilets were disconnected since their shit doesn’t stink.

But it does pile up.


By why turn on Hollywood?

It’s our salvation.

All social critics end up there, even Faulkner:

More recently Wallace Shawn, the playwright,

Whose trademark topic is selling out. Everyone falls for it,

Everyone wants a piece of the action,

Even if only a walk-on part in Woody Allen’s “Celebrity.”

Star power is irresistible. Obama wants a TV series.

His daughters have auditioned for “Girls.”

A starring role in “Breaking Bad: Part II” would help Biden

Forget his dead son.


No, really. I take it back. It’s jealousy,

That’s all. I’d love to be Goldie Hawn’s neighbor.

I’d love to wear a tux on the red carpet,

Rate a star on Hollywood Boulevard,

Be fitted for a Mickey Mouse costume.

It’s in our genes. All Americans, each and every one of us,

Dreams of being a star at the annual parade,

Waving to the crowd from the back of a convertible,

Receiving wild cheers and accolades from frenzied crowds.

My only question, my only hesitation is this:

How gratifying is it to be rich when everyone else is poor?

Is it any fun to be Mickey Mouse in the Sahara Desert? If ordered

By Disney’s CEO or the President of the U.S. of A.,

Would Donald Duck gun down his fellow Americans?

Would he mow us all down?

My guess is yes. Listen for his quack as it gets louder.

[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf.]


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