Why am I Famous? What Have I Done? What am I For?

By Elisa Gabbert and Kathleen Rooney



Why am I Famous? What Have I Done? What am I For?

The smaller the handbag, the hotter the chick;
the bigger the Chihuahua, the smaller you look?
Why would I keep up with the in/out lists—
do I look like I work for In N Out Burger? Do I
look phat in uniform? Did you see how my nametag
lies flat & flush? Something smells lunchy?
I haven’t had the munchies this bad since last
night? Whose fashion is that? I want all the colors?
Is Roy G. Biv a real guy? & if so, then why
can’t I call him? Being myself 110% of the time,
who am I the rest of the time? Metaphysical
pop quizzes make my brain start to fizz
which reminds me, are we out of Coke? How about
coke? Floss-blonde & extended w/ an ill-tended
Chia pet, my head feels like it’s floating five inches
behind my wiggle n’ giggle routine? What does it
mean? These funny symbols scribbled all over
my tan thin wrists are a plot twist? How rotten
will I feel when I’m dead? How old do I have to get
before drug-induced forgetfulness sets in
& my ankles get wrinkly? Do they make SPF
any higher than 100? Or would that be clothes-
damaging? Which is worse, when your skin falls off
or when life loses all its mystery & intrigue?
Do you want a makeover? I have that song?
It ruins my day if I think too hard about it?
Songs aren’t like poems; they don’t have to
resolve? My mind is a decoder ring, except
backwards? If you’re not part of the problem,
then you’re probably at home watching TV?
Can you see me? Wave if you can see me?




Elisa Gabbert is the author of Thanks for Sending the Engine, a chapbook from Kitchen Press, and, with Kathleen Rooney, That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness, a collaborative collection. She is the poetry editor of Absent and currently works at a software startup in downtown Boston. She blogs at The French Exit.

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press. She is the author of the essay collection For You, For You I Am Trilling These Songs (Counterpoint, 2010) and the poetry collection, Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). With Elisa Gabbert, she co-wrote That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008).


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