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Bardo Feb 4
I knocked on the door of Fame,
She kindly opened up for me and
   spoke my name
And smiling, bid me enter
(I must have made the grade this time)
Inside lay a whole new world, a world
   of wonder
She looked at me as if to say "Where were you all this time, we've been waiting on you".

Well she fussed over me something
   terrible
Lavishing on me gifts and sweets
   aplenty
Showering me with praise and high
   accolades
She was great she was... O! She was
   lovely!
Bestowed on me great new names,
I was an intellectual now, a member of
   the intelligentsia
I was a 'great artiste', a Big Star
I was part of the Elite
I was one of them now, I was one of
   them.

I got to sit on my little seat at the Big
   Table
The others sitting there they all smiled
   down at me
" Look at me now ", I thought to myself, " look where I am and who I am, who would have believed it ".

Puffed me up no end she did, inflated
   my ego
I thought I might up and float away
And for awhile, a little while I was
   happy.

                            II

But the House of Fame had another
   face I found
Would invite young hopefuls in from
   outside, young aspiring artists
Allow them to come and read their
   works, exhibit their wares
While those sitting there around the
   table, they'd judge them
Like little Roman emperors we were, giving a thumbs up or thumbs down
Some of my fellows, they were quite
   brilliant at it
The way they could dissect a work, get
   right to the heart of it
And sum it all up,
And they could be so funny with it as
   well
They'd make you laugh with their
   witty remarks
But there were times though, when
  things they could get a bit ******
When they'd turn on someone, heap
   derision on their work.

There was this one young lad I
   remember
In his hands he clutched some papers,
He held his whole world, his whole
   life in those papers
You could see it in him, just how much
   it meant to him,
Sad to say though, he wasn't all that
   good
Well they just took him apart, they hit
   him like a hurricane
You could see his disappointment, see
  his face drop
His world start to crumble,
   his hopes and dreams start to die
Could see him almost shrivel up right
   before your eyes
He'd may as well have been in front of
   a firing squad,
"It had to be done", my fellows would say, " you had to be ******* them, they
   had to be told"
And they could be so witty, my fellows,
   so funny
They'd make you laugh, laugh at
   anything
They all laughed, I laughed too and then...and then, I thought of you, I thought of you.

                           III

Now some writers when their very
  young write great stuff even then
I'd be only too proud to have written it
   myself if I could
But when I think back to what I wrote
  early on
I close my eyes and wince as if in pain,
I shake my head and grimace, "awful,
   terrible stuff, what was I thinking"
Guileless, naive, infantile,
   incomprehensible even to myself a
     lot of it, without wit or cunning
If any of it ever came to light I'd be so
   embarrassed, I'd be mortified,
      scandalised
I feel I'd have to flee the country, go
   and live in some remote jungle some
      place
And never show my face again, I
   thought it that bad,
It was like some ***** guilty secret I
   had to hide.

And you know I couldn't help thinking
   what if it was you standing there
Before this - this Inquisition, reading
   your work
How they'd listen to you probably
   with mouths wide open almost in
      disbelief
Barely able to contain their laughter
And when you'd finished
How they'd wink and smile knowingly
   at one another and maybe say
       something like
"And what do we have here, what
   exotic creature
From under what gilded stone have
   you come out from under"
And then they'd lay into you... "this
  *******, this ****, this mindless
    drivel, I never laughed so much in
        my life! these inane ramblings,
This guy he must be the village idiot",
And what would I do, would I rush to
   your defence, would I lift a finger
     to help you... No! not a chance
I'd just sit their silent and not let on I
   knew you, just watch them take you
      apart
Like lions in the arena, tearing you
   asunder
I'd even join in, yea, I'd laugh too,
And what if your eyes met mine, well
   I'd quickly look away,
" I don't know you, you're not me,
    you're not mine,
And if you were  I'd disown you
I'd have you erased from my past,
You're an embarrassment to me
You're worlds away from who I am
   now".

And later in my room alone would I
   think of you
And what it was like for you back
   then,
And that world you came from
Would I remember a boy so utterly
   lost with no hope of ever getting
        back
All alone with no one to show him the
   way
With a mind like a war zone, broken
   and bloodied, pummeled from every
       side
Trying to make sense of a crazy world
Trying desperately to keep a grip on
   life
To cling onto something, anything
   that'd keep him afloat,
Trying to write because he thought it
   was the only thing left that he could
      do
(Someone who'd never even been a
   reader of books...
Do many writers write just to stay
   alive ?)
And the more I thought about it the
   more I began to admire you
How really it was quite amazing you
   were able to write anything at all...
And to think that I would just sit there
   and watch this, your... your
         crucifixion and do nothing,
That I could betray so brave and
   beautiful a boy,
Wasn't the shame not yours but all
   mine.

And maybe they'd bring you back a
   second night saying - laughing!
"This one was so good, we had to bring
    him back again to impart some
      more of his little gems",
And to see you there the tear stained
   face, the dead eyes with no light left
      in them
Devoid of all dignity now, begging
   them for some sign of approval,
    some gesture, anything at all !
Looking at them as if they were God
  Almighty
And you were nothing but a piece of
   **** on their shoe
Would I finally have the guts to stand
   up and call a halt, would I !
Jump over their Big Table, go and take
   you in my arms
And tell you" It was alright, that I was
  here now and was so sorry I hadn't
    been before ",
And then turning to them say -admit,
" This, this *******, this drivel, this
    village idiot
This was me when I was young,
It kept me alive, it gave me hope when
   there was no hope ",
And smiling at them I'd say, " and I'd choose him every time over any of you
   sitting there,
What do you know of me and my life,
  what I've been through, were you
      there ?
And turning to you again I'd say,
"Let's get out of this place, we don't
     belong here
This isn't us, this isn't who we are,
Let's go home the two of us, you and
   me together,
Let's go home.
Never been to the world of fame, this is just an invented story. Is not so much about fame as about self acceptance and accepting those parts of ourselves we'd rather hide and bury and not let the world see.

— The End —