Over 48 hours, from noon on August 27, 2010, through noon on August 29, 2010, “hundreds of writers, editors, artists, photographers, programmers, videographers, and other creatives from all around the world came together via the Internet — and in offices in Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco — to make a magazine from start to finish.” It was called Longshot.

The theme was “comeback.” My submission wasn’t published in the magazine, but will appear on their blog linked to this blog post. It’s a cool idea. Here is my longshot, a poem I wrote in a flash on Saturday, August 28th, called

“Imaginary Comeback”

He was big, really big.
In his mind, he was the only star
There ever was — the one true star.
A star of the stage, screen, and sport,
Legions of fans cheering his every move.
They bought all his records,
Sold out his shows, cheered every score.
No one could get enough of him,
Kept demanding more.

He fell in with the wrong crowd,
An adoring mass of one,
That took him down the wrong path.
He fell into bad habits: sex,
Drugs, deviant behavior – all by himself.
Only, when he fell, nobody knew
It was all in his mind. He disappeared
Further into obscurity; none missed him.

He stopped hearing the cheering
In the back of his mind,
The soundtrack no longer played,
Accolades and self-congratulation
Were no longer forthcoming.
But now, poised for a comeback,
He sits on the couch and stares,
Paralyzed with fear and self-loathing.

What if you were a star
Of your own mind
And you made a comeback
To which nobody came—
Would the fame taste as sweet?
Or bitter, bitter as bile piling up
In the pit of his stomach
Churning with anxiety.

Heck, even John Lennon used to
Throw up before The Beatles’ gigs,
He tells himself. Then he heaves,
Leaving his lunch on the living room
Floor: the only thing making
A comeback today
Is the sandwich he ate an hour ago.

–Scott Edward Anderson