MY ONE INCH OF FAME

 
I ran into Bob, whose name was now different
and who now was a photographer.
He took my photo, then handed me the camera
and changed places: he assumed my place
at the bus stop and I, in the gutter as he’d been,
almost got hit by a bus, but I snapped the picture.
 
New York Magazine announced Bob’s “Retroactive Series,”
illustrated by two photos: John Cage, taken by Bob,
and Bob, by John Cage.
I found the exhibition, huge room after huge room,
all the walls hung with contact sheets.
 
Remember, before digital cameras,
sheets of pictures the size of the negatives?
I hunted and found us: Gloria Steinem,
Milton Glaser, etc., and me—
all of us famous people were one inch high.
 
We know what Andy Warhol said
about the 15-minute duration of fame;
for the thousands of us exhibited there,
the dimension was one inch.

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