Denice Frohman – “Everybody’s Famous in LA”


Everybody’s Famous in LA. Which reminds me
that I just bought fancy sheets for the first time in my adult life, which means I’m fancy too now. Which is not what
my three-year-old nephew would say, but absolutely how I felt when he said, “Titi, you’re my best friend, right?” And it’s like that. The first time I wore a black suit that hugged my shoulders and not my hips, the sidewalk lit up
in a constellation of days-old gum, which is so New York. So I slow-danced
along the spectacle of Ninth Avenue and remembered that I have jumped
on more than one occasion at the sight of my own decadence. Until a vecina, who knew me back when I rocked the bangs
and an awkward long ponytail, asked what I’m up to these days. And I couldn’t tell her the truth, so I said, “I write poems,” instead of, “My therapist asked
if I know what PTSD is.” The best front-row seats I have
are the ones to my own funeral, which feels weird to say because I dream I died
and no one showed up– nobody, except maybe for Stan, yes, Stan, who fixed my flat tire
with a hot patch this morning and called himself “King.” The world is full of VIPs
who make minimum wage. I hope I’m still fancy,
though I’m not convinced. Here I am, sitting outside the In-N-Out, wanting to high-five the weather
that pours out of me, but I don’t know how. The only time I won anything
was the Spring of ’96. Remember Lucky? He bet five dollars that you could beat all the sticky-fingered boys
in a game of 21. And when you won, you ran home
with the ball under your arm like it was a winning lottery ticket, and your mother said,
“You better not dribble in the house. And don’t you dare touch the walls
with your dirty fingers.” Legendary. Or the time you waited two hours
outside the Reebok to take a picture with Magic Johnson
when you were nine. He slapped your hand. You wrapped it in plastic that night ’cause it was gonna be
worth bazillions one day. Your mother ripped it off
because saran wrap is expensive, and food stamps don’t pay
for regular people shit. When you’re older, she reminds you
that her house isn’t a hotel, so you better stay
a little while longer, coño. And, speaking of hotels…
and speaking of hotels, I’m at a fancy– no, really–
five-star hotel, lounging on Egyptian cotton sheets
when the wireless network says, “There has been an error
processing your request.” And I remember she did not break my heart. I escaped that violence. But this is how death
makes a name for itself. What did not kill me
only made me want to die a little less. And I’m trying to stay alive here. I’m trying to change my life.
Where do I sign up? I’m trying to find the courage to say,
“No, you can’t come in. I poke holes through the night.
Baby, I’m a star.” (cheers and applause)

21 thoughts on “Denice Frohman – “Everybody’s Famous in LA”

  1. Denice Frohman is one of my favorite poets ever I'm so glad to have more of her poetry

  2. Great poem ! I’ve just started to share poems on my YouTube channel be great to see you there 🥰

  3. I love her. I wish I could never her so I can get on one knee and proper to her beautiful intelligent ass

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