The Root Cellar of Nostalgia

Make a space for me beside the wild-haired
potatoes, those beatniks of the dark snapping
their fingers as the wind's jazzy sax
recites another line of poetry. Set me down next
to the Mason jars filled with half-moons
of squash, cloudy tomatoes, okra jet streams,
and flocks of string beans flying
through five year old skies of liquid .
I’ll dust them off to be drums,
tune the pop of their seals to my voice.
Imagine this could be the Cavern Club
in Liverpool where The Beatles cut their teeth
on Elvis Presley songs, musty, subterranean,
instead of some hole in the ground in Buena Vista
where the world is dull and flat as a quarter
run over by a train. A lone spotlight focused
through the keyhole lights up my face
as if I were John Lennon. When the first
chord is struck, cover-girls step from the pages
of magazines boxed in the corner
to crowd this makeshift stage. They scream and tremble
as I shake my bangs, swivel my hips
singing “put a chain around my neck,
and lead me anywhere, oh let me be
(oh let me be) your teddy bear”
for the one who’s grown too old to hear.

By Jim Doss