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.