Michael Jackson’s Procedures

The history of stardomis written on his bodyin a language of scalpelsand creams, of bleachesblended with vitiligowrapped in money rolling in since Thriller rosethrough almost every languagelike a ubiquitous sonicBabel: chin of Kirk Douglas,nose of a comic bookelf, cheekbones of Audrey Hepburn, wigsof Bombay women’s hair,hairline of black ink,voice of a child no onecould fail to smile at—yes, the color line cagedin one procedure afteranother, but somehowgetting out each time,and the self, with its famousbusiness sense, strugglingto slip out of the gene pooland make a new bodyout of tongue clicks and stop time spins, out of vaultsonto car roofs, legatoruns into octave leaps,the seed of Elvis, and fatherhood and the rights of fame.