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Joe Wenderoth

The Secret Life Of Elvis

Imagine a high-rise Casino that,

instead of rising up into the air,


descends into the earth,

a massive elegant mineshaft.

Each floor has the same appearance:


lush red carpet and pristine green gaming tables

surrounded by row upon row of flashing

and forever gently dinging slot machines.

The typical Casino environs—

every inch of every floor

imbued with exactly the same amount of light,

which is substantial, and completely artificial.


With one exception.


The first floor is built upon the surface of the earth,

and so,

rises up some twenty feet into the light of the sun.

There are no windows, but there is a door.

How else could anyone get in?

There always has to be a door.

And when someone opens that door,

the light of day FLOODS IN.

And if someone is there to see the light of day



the Casino is suddenly and completely destroyed:

a hopeless and pathetic waste of time,

an addict and a dealer.


Best then to avoid the first floor.

Best to make your way down.

One floor down is enough, really,

to be safe,

but the further down you go,

the safer you feel.

Imagine yourself eighty floors down.

Imagine the stability of the light,

that deep in the ground.



At The Crash Site




are sifted


out of respect


special attention

is paid

to nothing




Interview With Current Resident



Where do I come from?

What Science misses: bowling alley carpets, dusk, a beautiful voice, etc….


Do I practice a religion?



Do I belong to a political party?



How has the weather been lately?



What do I do for a living?

I juggle countless unreal balls so that I (we?) can feel them drop when it’s time to go home.


What do I do when I’m at home?

I work.


What have I been working on?

This and that.


How has the work been going?

It’s been impossible, mostly.  If it has happened at all, it’s a miracle.


Am I involved with anyone at the moment?

That’s the big question.


How do I feel?



What do I expect?

The middle.


Who are my heroes?

I can’t remember.


Have I broken the law?

Yes and no.


What do I enjoy?



What do I want?

Zero mistakes.

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