In Memphis, a ghost in a Nudie suit floats
looking for boats in to sow some wild oats.
This mutton-chopped specter looms over this land
looking over a landscape he can’t understand.
This brother of Jesse studies the city
a shroud without mercy; no humor. Unwitty.
The man has no plan; he haunts his old haunts
a shadow just shadowing; painfully gaunt.

Take a bow, Elvis. Your legend looms larger than when you were near.
Take a flight, Elvis. You’ve been dead even longer than you lived here.
Put your collar down, Elvis. You started off strong; you ended up weird.
Get outta town, Elvis. Graceland’s doing fine from receipts you’ve cashiered.

The ghost studies songs, there’s little of him.
The rhythms he’d made are surprisingly slim.
What he hears, he can’t stand. He’s so out of touch
except the oldies’ stations; with a “Thankyouverymuch”
he speeds ghosty quick to the parts of the world
where his sound is respected, and whispy, he twirls.
He flits and he flees in the air everywhere, happily Elvis flies.
And he cries “I’m in my blue heaven!” And then he promptly dies
(again. Or discorporates. Or, or something).

Take a bow, Elvis. Your life was cool, your death overlong.
Get outta here, Elvis. Your haunting shoulda been like the length of a song.
Leave the building Elvis. Take the hint, like back in ’56.
Put your collar down, Elvis. You’ve been dead a long time, so go hit the bricks.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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