like movie stars

i feel like a movie star
feel like a walking, talking piece of shit
because there are cameras
everywhere that i seem to move
huge television screens
reflecting common dullard moments back at me
at jobs and on street corners
in the aisle of the grocery store
while i’m trying to figure out what sort of dead flesh
to fry and shove down my throat
there are cameras in the park and on public transportation
telephones that can be plugged into computers
to trace my calls and your calls to me
because i’m not alone in this
you’re all movie stars too
filmed walking down the street
picking your nose and scratching your ass
oscar winners are we
so important living our humdrum lives
that these mendacious pricks
are recording our inane phone calls
mining the data for random product placement
or turning it over to the government for posterity
why in the hell have we become so interesting
to the corporate interest?
to the workplace surveillance boys
with their high-tech boners?
to the politicians who only need our vote
once every so many years?
when did this happen?
if you’re going to record our every move, folks
maybe you should wine and dine us first
use the camera to seduce us and make us feel special
so we don’t feel like such whores
in the wake of all of your shadowing
so we don’t feel so hunted down just trying to buy a sandwich
come on, big brother
make us feel like movie stars
strolling along this big film set that you’ve created
this paranoid paradise of the damned
posing for a shot on the red carpet
before you film us walking all the way home
and while we’re probably sleeping too.

John Grochalski is a published writer whose poetry and prose have appeared in several online and print publications. He is the author of three books of poetry, The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch (Six Gallery Press, 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), and Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Press, 2014). He is also the author of the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press, 2013), and his chapbook In the Year of Everything Dying can be viewed via Camel Saloon’s Books on Blogs series. Read other articles by John.