SPOTLIGHT: People More Famous Than Me by Richard LeDue

A Murky Future

They theorize Ed Sullivan had dementia,
(didn’t recognize Paul McCartney
when they met again years later),
and it reminds me of how much stage fright
my brain has some days-
neurons tripping over each other,
leading to one clear thought of a murky future,
where someone I don’t remember
holds my hand,
or worse, I’m left with ghosts
in an empty room,
losing the same arguments over and over again
about photocopies running out of paper,
who used the last staple,
and why my manager could never
remember my name.


Buzz Aldrin performed Christian communion while waiting for his historical walk on the moon. It wasn’t highly publicized by NASA because they were afraid of the criticism it might generate.

Silent and cold among rocks,
the secret to life:
everything turns to dust,
even on the moon.

Safe inside lunar lander:
wine sipped from silver chalice,
bread broken purposely,
prayer spoken.

Trying to Live in Your Shadow

I have not prayed enough to be like you,
I have not loved enough to write like you.
The night is my god, stars my angels
I’ll never touch,
while the darkness that hides in my pockets
my lover, but we may speak to one another
in the ten-minute afterlife of my brain,
trying to catch up to its dead body.
The conversation agreeable
until you joke that my heaven
is your hell, and I realize
the real Leonard Cohen more sophisticated
than such humour, proving
we all really die alone.

This is What Happens When I Try to be Whimsical

When someone says they don’t like “Star Wars,”
or “Star Trek,” I wonder
what they think of Billionaires
with private space programs.

While the earth is slowly burning,
why can’t they see
that even if Spock isn’t real,
he would recycle, or Chewbacca
would die in a shootout
trying to save the rain forest?

Maybe a “galaxy far, far away”
began with the wealthy fleeing a dying planet,
or that thought is just another fantasy
we’ll easily dismiss,
waiting for the next mockbuster
in the cheap bin at Wal-Mart.

One for Bogie

Bogart avoided dysentery
in the Congo
by living on baked beans, canned asparagus
and scotch,
while Hepburn (abstaining
out of protest to Bogart’s alcoholism)
kept a bucket
I’ve never seen that movie,
but know what it’s like
to be betrayed
by beliefs
and a weak stomach.

She’s still not a very good lover,

but she used to think she was,
like any beautiful Hollywood leading woman,
who played the same type of role
over and over again, but believed
each character different, and her kissing
one of a kind that caused co-stars
to become dark with lust,
when really an over abundance of saliva
drowned any passion that might have
considered a late-night skinny dip.
Eventually, her roles got smaller,
along with her confidence,
until non-speaking parts seemed best,
leaving her
lots of time to think about loneliness
tasting the same as lips
that never believed in goodbyes.

An Obligatory Covid Poem

The guy on my Particulate Respirator N95 box
doesn’t look like he’s thinking about Covid…
This bothers me for some reason,
like he’s a time traveler
who’s his own grandfather,
or someone who never thought
he’d have to remember no one can see
you smiling under a mask.


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