Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - September 3, 2010

Poetic Pleasanton

Movie star meeting inspires a poem

In my job as a journalist, I occasionally meet and interview celebrities. While waiting for the interview to start, I notice how the celebrities' entourages hover around them, restricting their access to everyday experience. I recently interviewed a celebrity in San Francisco who was representing a Polish vodka. We spoke briefly about the product, and then talked for a few minutes about growing up across the river from each other in New Jersey and Delaware. The end of the poem captures the scene of our discussion.

Celebrity Lifecycle

A normal cocoon

of baby blankets, blue rattles

and Golden books.

The slow crawl out of pupa

on Jersey playground.

Years of brick schools

and stern teachers,

finding solace on stage.

Fly to Tinsel Town

for some moonlighting.

Battle at Armageddon

and capture die hard fans.

Even so, this fragile butterfly

alights in a city suite

amid clouds of security.

Managers, agents mill about

like caterpillars

to promote product,

surprised to hear the joy

of growing up Jersey.

Coming soon: 'Poetry on Main'

Through our new "Poetry on Main" monthly poets' group starting in September, I look forward to meeting first-time poets and those who may have written for years. On Sept. 9, we'll begin a once-a-month, second Thursday "Poetry on Main" group for feedback and appreciation of each others' poems.

"Poetry on Main" will be held in downtown Pleasanton from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Little Valley Winery, 739 Main St. Marilyn Slade of Pleasanton, author of humorous poetry and prose, will co-host the gatherings. Bring two poems with some copies of each to share and discuss. The event is free with soft drinks provided. No-host wine by the glass with ID.

Deborah Grossman is Pleasanton's Poet Laureate. Email her at


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