Who wants to be famous
if it’s flames that fan the fame?
Thus made Earth dark and dreary,
the visions get in your name;
Poor Jeanne d’Arc in lonely fields;
ghosts like Catherine, John and Margaret.
John Barrymore Sr. (old Chicago guy),
dead in Flynn’s wing-back chair;
Raoul Walsh “borrowed” your body
—or was it Peter Lorre—to raise old Errol’s hair.
They asked you in your coffin
about the stage lights in the sky,
“You heard me, Mike…” fading, gaunt, the lamp, the chair.
Upon his bier, Death’s unwanted tenant,
And gold-mad Spain refused him;
Broke, washed through with dysentery.
Along the bare bones of Castilleja de la Cuesta,
the peasants stumble with Cortez’ corpse,
with the man who brought the horse, America:
gave America gun and horse.