What It Takes to Be Famous
by Clarence Wolfshohl

She sat at her desk—
it was an ordinary desk
with no exotic butterflies
or shrunken skulls opened
as pencil holders; it did not
hold a computer, only a pad
of paper and pen, ballpoint—
she sat at her desk
and wrote her poem.

No one noticed but her mother,
her father grunted between the box
scores. It did get published,
but no one noticed.

She went into the kitchen
and stuck her head in the oven—
it was Thanksgiving week
and there was no turkey
in the house. No one noticed.

So she wrote a novel
about the slings and arrows
although the only sling she knew
about was the one she wore
at age nine when she broke
her arm falling off her bike.

A small publisher released her book,
but it ran off into the woods
without a radio collar and went
feral. No one noticed the book
nor the writer, who returned to her oven.

This time it was Easter week
and eggs boiled on the burner,
and she thought about egg hunts,
what the Game & Fish daily limit
was, whether it was still bow
season or if she could use her
thirty aught six. No one noticed.
So she loaded the rifle
and rifled the cupboard
for whatever would explode
or cause gas and went fully armed,
one from each shoulder, downtown
and blew up the brokerage firm
or a kitchen utensil outlet, both
equally crowded with intentions.


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