February 25, 2020

Rebekah Miron

CELEBRITY

It was started by cruelty, those mouths
dark as houses where each consonant,
each vowel, scored the walls with hate.

They took a woman to pieces,
pressed her flesh against their lips,
told stories about the taste,

about the way she fell apart on the tongue,
melted warm as butter, because
the world was hungry too, they said.

She was judged by the eye, measured by sight,
a little salt, seasoning, until our plates heaved,
the flavours strange, acerbic.

Still we chewed when they told us to
and once we’d finished, it was miraculous,
they even fed us her absence.

They gave us tragedy, a fresh grave,
and when we opened empty mouths
to gorge on the flowers,

they tasted cheap like paper,
and we weren’t sure why,
but anyway, we eat them still.

from Poets Respond
February 25, 2020

__________

Rebekah Miron: “’In a world where you can be anything, be kind,’ wrote Caroline Flack on social media last December. On Saturday, we learned the much-loved British presenter had taken her own life. While there’s never a simple explanation for this kind of tragedy, it’s clear the British tabloids played no small part. Flack was tormented and harassed during a mental health crisis. Today, an online petition calling for a law that would prevent newspapers from ‘sharing private information that is detrimental to a celebrity, their mental health and those around them,’ quickly gained over 400,000 signatures. Politicians also lined up to criticize the tabloids, as well as hate-fueled social media commentators. This comes just weeks after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry threatened legal action against several British tabloids. I felt so sad and shocked when I heard the news about Caroline Flack. I wanted to write something in response, to address the vicious gossip-mongers who tear women in the media to shreds. Some shame-faced tabloids have even been deleting cruel articles in the wake of Flack’s death. But I also felt I had to acknowledge something about gossip in general, because there’s no supply without demand. We have to turn away from the tabloids, ignore the clickbait, we can’t believe what we read in the papers. When we consume this fakery, we become part of the problem too.” (web)

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