by Midnight Moon
Wild Poetry Forum
Third Place, April 2016
Judged by Joan Colby

Maybe entire cities are sculpted by jazz musicians,
but me, I prefer the cowboy bars
magenta lights tingling: OPEN

Girls over 40 in cowboy-rocker boots
slide close to men with sideburns,
so she can almost pretend it’s me.

I resurfaced here after a brief spin
in the faraway land of lonely hearts,
the place where guitars play one, long note

That goes through the center of you
makes you vibrate like a string
as you close your eyes to a warm flush of stars.

I came back to walk dusty Nashville boulevards,
gospel store front churches, old, white mansions,
and one room chicken-shack farms, with determined old hound dogs

coming up to sniff me, then barking in surprise
and running away whining, when they realize
there really ain’t nothing there.

Elvis is deftly presented as a ghost in this adroitly written poem with its “magenta lights” “cowboy-rocker boots” and “one-room chicken shack farms” in “the faraway land of lonely hearts…where guitars play one long note.” The lyrical image of “a warm flush of stars” is offset by the pragmatic ending “there really ain’t nothing there.” The poet’s choice of language suits the subject and the triplet form provides both visual and aural satisfaction. --Joan Colby