poetry collection 57 pp

Description of Stills Poetry Book

Elvis and Me


I overheard when I was twenty–five

that the year my father wrote Stuck on You

for Elvis Presley he made sixty thousand

dollars on that song alone    My uncle

said it to my mother but of course she already

knew that    it was just something they brought

out and examined now and then    close up

the way you might a beautiful

bug you came across on a stalk of grass as

you walked through a field of



We saw none of it    He spent it on clothes

hotels his musician friends women–other–

than–my mother alcohol and drugs    Or perhaps

he used it as a paper trail as he breasted the forests

of The Bronx to our house so he could find his way

out again    Or wiped himself with it then watched it

disappear down the hole and out to the river we

could see from our windows    By the time he got

to our door he was empty


It was when he died that we began to see the

money    And when Elvis died we began to see

more    our profits from their deaths

coming regular in lovely white envelopes

with windows so you could right away see the

money start    like you might see the promise of

snow out your window on a winter day    a third

for my mother    a third for my sister    a third for

me (though she could have taken it all and we

wouldn’t have blamed her)    Something we could

bank on    like Elvis could bet there would always be

black musicians who would feed him their songs

and he could use their sound to rise like