The Price Of Fame | Poem by Ray Miller

The Price Of Fame

I like to peruse the charity shops

at least once a week.

I once bought a book by Roger McGough

for only 40p.

Today I happened to find myself

inside Cats Protection;

there, between Drama and Mental Health

I spied a collection

of poetry written by local bards

and the CD we recorded,

plus Ian McMillan, John Cooper Clarke.

But, could I afford it?

It sold for ten pounds when first published;

poets got one free.

My ex has thrown mine in the rubbish –

jealous, obviously.

I was just about to check out the cost

then thought, should I leave it?

If I take this volume from the shop

no-one else will read it.

I said to the girl at the counter, Look,

as I fished for money,

I’ve a couple of poems in this book

and one’s very funny.

Are you famous then? Show me which are yours.

I turned to the page;

there were complicit smiles, a few guffaws –

you should be on the stage!

I could tell her about the pressure

performing Spoken Word.

A recitation might impress her,

but I’ve lost my nerve.

I say, I ought to get this book for free

seeing as I’m in it.

She finds the price, it’s just 30p:

thus am I diminished.

Melcome | Poem by Jessica Skyfield


to my echo chamber.

I’m having fun, (right now).

And that’s what it’s all about, right?


Behold the meaningless rantings of a mad(whoa)man.

Sliding slipping sagging

as time warps and wears

picking up speed on the downhill slide.

Infinite neural networks

these/those/them/there/their/they’re sliding glass doors shut

but I can still see back through;


It’s cold outside.

Scaramouche is fandangoing

and nothing truly



at all.*

*Actually, everything matters/everything’s matter and this is just a coping

mechanism for reality because everything is so big and I am so little and

the forces that exist are so great and I don’t feel strong enough…said hurriedly with flushed cheeks and zero free oxygen anywhere.

But I’m trying.

In Ordinum ist Progress.

(What esoteric concepts!–whose order and progress towards what?!)

Literally all our plundering is in the name of progress, so…

& of course I moved to the state whose motto is Ad astra per aspera.

ad nauseam per Astrae, 

blundering through inumerable difficulties

tale as old as Time.

Hit me where the wind blows

& know that endless questioning is nothing but to beg for sorrow.

Adapted ahead of print from JP Skyfield’s Condensed Chronology.