by Jackie Fox

People expect wacky.
They say “Smile,”
and you say
“I am smiling.”
They expect crazy.

People will tell you
some really nasty joke
and go, “Use it.”
I can’t use that.

It’s not true I can grow
in whatever time it takes
to leave here.
Celebrity is cybercrack.
You try to stay.
Funny keeps them alive.

Your subconscious
is always dark.
The id is always.
Maybe we’ll cut
to five years from now—
But I don’t think so.

SOURCE:  Time magazine, August 25, 2014.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I saw your call for submissions I initially thought of celebrities I could poke fun at, but reading an interview with the one I had in mind left me completely blank. And aside from your project, I couldn’t stop thinking about Robin Williams. His loss felt so personal to so many of us. I reread this interview in Time magazine and it spurred me to try to create something. I didn’t set out to create an elegy but it felt like one, and I hope it honors him.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jackie Fox lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband Bruce. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, most recently in Bellevue Literary Review, LitRagger, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, and is forthcoming in Rattle. She has completed one semester toward an MFA in the University of Nebraska creative low-residency writing program.