Steve Langan

Name Dropper

Let’s start from the top, backstage passes,
Rolling Stones: Mick and Keith, no shows.
Obama from twenty-five feet.
In First Class, United, with Gerald Ford
and Ed Bradley. Rest in peace.

The Olympic skiers were on this flight.
One dropped and she did fifty in the aisle.
My wife’s first cousin is a gold medalist,
marathon. Warren Buffett lives a half mile away.

Tommy Lasorda, Weird Al, Bernadette Peters
signing autographs on 47th Street.
When I asked John Updike why it’s so hard
for my generation to publish, he said,
“Silence, exile and cunning.” Then he
signed a copy of his children’s book
to my stepdaughter, who babysat
Paul Muldoon’s kids at Princeton.

Her next door neighbor in the dorm
was Donald Sutherland’s French son,
who smoked weed and watched TV all day.

Why did I try so hard to not adore the famous?
We try not to hate all the other people.
We try not to hate ourselves.

Steve Langan is the author of What It Looks Like, How It Flies, the debut collection of Gibraltar Editions, and Meet Me at the Happy Bar, Notes on Exile and Other Poems, and Freezing. He teaches in the University of Nebraska at Omaha MFA in Writing program.

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