A film I put together.
This poem was written by Hans Ostrom, professor of English and Langston Hughes scholar at the University of Puget Sound, who also writes the blog Poet’s Musings. He’s published several books. One about creative writing, Metro: Journeys in Writing Creatively, and a collection of his poetry, The Coast Starlight: Collected Poems 1976 – 2006. He authored two encyclopedias: A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature. He wrote a detective novel in the 90s called Three To Get Ready, and a book of literary criticism on Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes titled Langston Hughes: A Study of the Short Fiction. Hans studied under the Poet Laureate and Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet Karl Shapiro at UC Davis.
This was filmed at Swan Creek in East Tacoma. The people in the video are two of my old housemates, Sarah Moore and Elliot Snyder, who play together in the band Head Bangs, who make indy music and play at house shows pretty often. Check out their myspace page here.
Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven
They call each other `E.’ Elvis picks
wildflowers near the river and brings
them to Emily. She explains half-rhymes to him.
In heaven Emily wears her hair long, sports
Levis and western blouses with rhinestones.
Elvis is lean again, wears baggy trousers
and T-shirts, a letterman’s jacket from Tupelo High.
They take long walks and often hold hands.
She prefers they remain just friends. Forever.
Emily’s poems now contain naugahyde, Cadillacs,
Electricity, jets, TV, Little Richard and Richard
Nixon. The rock-a-billy rhythm makes her smile.
Elvis likes himself with style. This afternoon
he will play guitar and sing “I Taste A Liquor
Never Brewed” to the tune of “Love Me Tender.”
Emily will clap and harmonize. Alone
in their cabins later, they’ll listen to the river
and nap. They will not think of Amherst
or Las Vegas. They know why God made them
roommates. It’s because America
was their hometown. It’s because
God is a thing without
feathers. It’s because
God wears blue suede shoes.