Lyrical Somerville – May 17

On May 17, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times


Scott Ruescher’s book of poems, Waiting for the Light to Change, has just been published by Prolific Press. It is available at

To a Cajun Farmer of Alligators on the Run from his Wife


Scott Ruescher

To a Cajun farmer of alligators on the run from his wife

Dancing to the rhythms of “Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear”

With a teenaged runaway in a room you rent by the hour,

To a madman from Muscatine in a sequined black jumpsuit

And a far too obvious toupee, all sunglasses and love handles,

Interrupting the lead act and storming the stage

At a meticulously inauthentic blues bar on Beale Street

To shake, rattle, and roll for us and rock around the clock

With hankies in his underpants to make his balls look big,

Or to an Episcopal priest from an all-male church in San Francisco

Exploring his Dionysian side on a solo vacation,

Dressed as a fabulous Elvis in blue suede high heels

On drag night at a gay bar in that restored Victorian

Historic district on the northern edge of Midtown—

And to anyone who’s ever attempted that swivel of the pelvis

Or visited the Graceland mansion on the edge of Memphis

As I did one Monday in the 90s, only to find it closed—

Elvis is the same icon of sexual individualism

As he was to some insurance man from Wichita, Kansas,

In Memphis for a convention that week, boogying

His heart out on the dance floor of the Holiday Inn bar

Like he had at a sock-hop in the 50s with his girlfriend

To Elvis’s first recordings, “Mystery Train,” “Jailhouse Rock,”

“Blue Suede Shoes,” “That’s All Right,” only this time contorting

His face into that sexy pout, his posture into that pretzel twist,

Going wild at last, at age 67, with rhythm and abandon

With a woman from Tulsa, Duluth, or Dayton

Who’d taken the whole week off from her job at the post office

For fear of missing out on the daylong visit to Graceland

That she so much enjoyed the day before yesterday,

Between the shower, the dinner, the ceremony, the reception,

And the all-night after-party at the wedding of the son

Of a friend she graduated from high school with, in 1957.

— Scott Ruescher


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