Author's Ink

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Poem: Litany

Published in Lagniappe mid-90s.  Just for fun.



If Elvis wasn't dead before, he is now.  (Letter to the editor, Houston Post, regarding the wedding of Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson.)


Bless me, Elvis, for I have sinned.

Back-slid into psychedelic iniquities,

traveler of wide, polyester roads.

Away from leather truth, Brylcream grace,

duck-tail halos, blue-suede shoes.

Thou hast died,

thou hast risen,

thou shalt come again.

Holy Elvis, father of rock,

blessed art thou among blues-men,

rockabillies, fiftyish matrons of

curler-helmeted hair, leopard-print             

peddle-pushers, cat-eye glasses, Tupperware, Valium.

Hail, Elvis, full of grace,

full of anxiety, paranoia, adipose tissue,

Quualudes and booze.

Unto thee I lift mine eyes

at truck stops, filling stations,

taco stands and bowling alleys, among velvet

prints, enameled plates, tapestries of

gambling dogs, astronauts, dead presidents.

Unto thee I lift mine eyes, mine blood-pressure,

mine weight, mine hair-line.

I am not worthy to receive--

the Quentin Quail, jail-bait, Priscillas,

pubescent sacraments, icons, fountains of youth

but you have but to say the word, say the word,

say the word . . .  and I shall be . . . shall be . . .

Thou hast died,

thou hast risen,

thou shalt come again.

With fire, sword and Stratocaster

judging the quick and the dead

scourging Neverland with thy righteousness.

Patron saint of truck-drivers, fat boys, bubbas,

martyrs whose hearts have stopped on the crapper,

breathed ocean water while drunk, drowned on

their own puke, ascending to Graceland to

sit by thy porcelain throne.


Bless me, Elvis, for I have sinned.

I ain't nothin' but a hound dog.