It started with the Greatest Hits album,
ordered one night in a haze
of nostalgia and wine, toll-free
in the middle of Notorious , just after
Claude Raines started poisoning Ingrid Bergman.
In a room at the top of a long
flight of stairs she was weakening,
thinking all the while how much she
wanted, needed, and loved Cary Grant,
who was taking too long to understand
it was now or never.
By the time he rescued her,
our album was being processed
somewhere in New Jersey, and we were
already in line for motorcoach
tours to Graceland, porcelain busts,
and an opportunity to give, tax-free,
to the Presley Trauma Center.
Everything worked out well,
except for Claude Raines, of course,
who was taken inside behind a heavy door
by two men who would laugh at anyone
wailing "Don't be cruel."
From "Sweet Nothings: An Anthology of Rock and Roll in American Poetry" edited by Jim Elledge. (Indiana: $29.95 cloth, $14.95 paper; 224 pp.) 1994 Reprinted by permission.