Thursday, December 25, 2014

Ed Schelb's Dogbelly Auditions to Play the Ghost of Elvis

Even on the west coast of the US, Christmas Day is practically over, but I thought I'd post Ed Schelb's poem as a Christmas present....or as a post-Christmas treat.  Enjoy!

Dogbelly Auditions to Play the Ghost of Elvis

Damn easy to be mistaken
for Elvis— with skin bloated
as a mutant shellfish
with a bacon and barbiturates
moonglow. Eye surgery sunglasses.
Sequins. Pucker up and blow.
Honk if you love chili dogs,
you rockabilly corpse,
with your body brittle
as a harpsichord
full of dead junebugs.
Straight up, boss.
I remember when Elvis died
on the Cross and I tried on
his rhinestone suit
that fit me like a bowl
of plastic fruit,
hugged my hips like eternity
until my lust became
a shooting spree,
before my groin
went all sickly sweet
and transfigured
into wavin’ wheat
easy street Paradise in a .45
flip side of some down-home
electric glide.

I’ve got a future
in dead things,
my voice nostalgic
as motel bedsprings.
So I’ll get out my horse clippers
for muttonchops.
Grease up and eat bird-eggs
like gumdrops, carve all fifty states
into my skin
and assume the throne.
I like the thin way you stare,
checking out my potential
dividends. Careful bucko –
take it slow or get the bends
from these eyeless depths.
Don’t take it all
in at once. Savor
my phosphorescence.
Fake it till you make it.
Channel the spirit of the King
until the battery-powered starlings
take wing and fly
to Bethlehem to be bored
stiff. Look around.
You need a scorecard
to tell these players.
They’ve all plum sucked down
into the image
like livin’ petroglyphs.
So what. I’m blowin’ my shot.
I know it. Shootin’ myself in the foot.
Some snot-nosed pretty boy’s
gonna’ get my starring role.
So I’ll have to be content
with preserving my soul
like every other
mockingbird bliss-monger
just puckerin’
for that Judas kiss.
Sure as shootin’. Destiny calls.
I walked away empty-handed.
Nearly sat down to pray
to the gods of booze
and flea-bag insomnia
for a sign. A sweet theophany –
burning bra fiery law
tablets under my parched tongue
some inner swelling
hornet-stung and raw.
I need a new mythology
desperately. Hot licks
and blues’ll set you free
just ain’t cuttin’ it.
Neither is Aphrodite
and her sea-foam lonesome
moon calf groan.
Plumber’s putty
to plug up my holes’ll
do for now.
Put the pedal to the metal.
Burn out the engine gunk,
let the funk all fossilized
lose its skunk-hour savor
Maybe I’ll be just coast,
the ghost of Cochise
riding shotgun,
making the most of soybeans
and cattle pens and stock cars
with my head as raw as a turkey buzzard,
with nothing to lose, nothing to gain.
The sweet smoky smell
of the burning plain.
Gomorrah a-go-go.
Jumping-jack flash.
Rock the casbah and count your cash.
The union wages sure would’ve been nice.
Don’t take it personal, cowboy.

Only a roll of the dice.


And now let's play some Christmas songs with Elvis.  Okay, the first song is actually about Elvis Costello...."Elvis Costello Saves Christmas This Year":

Elvis Costello, Stephen Colbert, et al sing "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding."  Technically, it is a Christmas song as it's from the Colbert Christmas album:

Now, here's Elvis Presley singing "Blue Christmas":

He also sang "White Christmas" as well:

We'll finish with his "Silver Bells" and "O Come All Ye Faithful":

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