takes us back behind the scenes
with Elvis cutting up, Elvis falling
laughing off his chair and splitting seams.
We wince in our hearts to see him stalling
rehearsal: he can't remember the words, it's hot,
he can't forget who he really isn't
any more, lost in his flesh, his white fringed suit,
lost in the high collar, which seems to have risen
behind him on its own, to finish him
the way the Beatles' lasting lightning flashed,
and flashed, to darken and diminish him.
Standing on the past tense of the stage, at last
he mustered something in him up to sing.
Then had to catch his breath. The mike went dead
in his king's hand. He grinned and grabbed four more:
When I ... -teen fifty-six ... Hello? he said.
by J. Allyn
J. Allyn Rosser Page
Wired for Books
© 1999 J. Allyn Rosser
Copyright © 1999 Ohio University