Another young actor has died,
tired litany of our times.
I grew up watching his
crooked-sweet smile
in gawkward comedies
hammered out

In time I grew to distrust
youth and eternal summer,
the cheap charm, sugar-buzz
blare of B-list flicks, but he stayed there.
Is still there, as if the cameras
stole his soul, discarding the body
to fall off the Hollywood sign
and roll down the Sunset Strip
to join the rivers of trash
rolling out to the sea.

I almost said Movie Star,
but those days flew in a flurry of snow,
for fame gorges on the gorgeous,
like Goya’s tabloid Saturn.
We drive by, craning
our rubber necks at
E News Daily, waiting
for the next commercial
to sate us with distraction.

Once, you were loved.
You were a generation’s erotic toy
sucked dry by the same beasts
who now beat their breasts
and talk about innocence lost
and protecting our children.

As far as I can tell,
little has changed since the Mayans.
We don’t need a pyramid temple
and a knife-wielding priest today.
We lay him out on the big screen
and take the boy’s living heart
into our hands and squeeze.

The crowd roars.
Life tastes so fine.


* * * * *

Mark Sebastian Jordan has been an active presence on the Ohio arts scene for thirty years as an actor, director, playwright, and improv comedian. His Mansfield Trilogy of historical dramas was featured in sell-out performances for a decade at Malabar Farm State Park. As a living history performer, Jordan has portrayed Orson Welles, George Frideric Handel, Dan De Quille, and Clement Vallandigham. He has also been featured in television programs such as Ghost Hunters, My Ghost Story, and House of the Unknown, and appeared as an extra in the classic film The Shawshank Redemption.

Jordan is also a poet with numerous publication credits. He was awarded 2nd place in the 2013 Jesse Stuart Memorial Award by the National Association of State Poetry Societies, and has also received awards from the Ohio Poetry Association, the Ohio Arts Council, The Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, The Associated Press, The Rupp Foundation, The Ohio Theater Alliance, the Ohio Community Theatre Association, the Ohio Eta Chapter of the Theta Alpha Phi drama honor fraternity, and the Mansfield/Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Jordan has worked as a freelance journalist for publications all over Ohio as well as ones based in New York City and London, England. He currently reviews concerts of the Cleveland Orchestra for Seen & Heard International.

He lives at Malabar Farm State Park in Lucas, where he runs the Hostelling International hostel, which provides affordable accomodations to travelers of all ages.