Voices on the Wind
Voices on Relaxation
no escaping Elvis
by Mark Vogel
for Halloween my cousin wears the shiny shirt
with puffy sleeves and absurd cape his mother
threatens to take to the Salvation Army.
Other caricatured minions wear his outfits
as ridiculous costumes everyone can recognize—
pretending childish and wholesome Uncle Elvis
will soon strut in from a gentler time when
one singer could cover it all.
Once upon a summer time hardly anyone
escaped Elvis happiness lurking in tight pants
at the State Fair with glossy hair askew.
Just back from the White House, he took the stage
at the local high school—twisting and smiling,
beaming fresh and eager. Seemingly forever
a florid and fat Elvis has remained a digital habit
crooning mall Christmas cheer in frosted December.
Nothing disappears, and in fresh spring
in enhanced movie colors he still makes
Ann Margaret wholesome, his voice cleansing
desire. In talent show rituals as primitive magic
a nine year old shakes her hips, singing:
You ain’t nothing but a hound dog.
Across continents in wet and dry, archeologists
unearth evidence of the shaggy young king.
In Thailand, and Liverpool and Rome,
and in Cairo and Olive Branch, Illinois,
absurd newcomers emerge tainted with nostalgia,
dancing Memphis hinterland swagger
waking slow motion electric love.
From the moving clouds leak intimate Tupelo
hymns tamed and rich—no longer raw
and dangerous. Just essential.