Wednesday, September 12, 2012

At the Oriental Theater . . .

artwork: ralph murre

 At the Oriental Theater in Milwaukee
 by Stephen Anderson

Something tells me that the little man
in striped short sleeves and a Sears’ tie
could really cut loose with a wild, wailing
boogie-woogie on that awesome Kimball concert organ
on stage down at the Oriental Theater,
instead of the take-me-out-to-the-ballgame/true-blue
schmaltz he is probably told to play before the previews
come on.  Not that there’s anything patently wrong
with his standard repertoire, but that magnificent organ
has got to be capable of so much more, as I’m sure the man is.

Watching him play, I can imagine him suddenly exploding
into a Ray Charles or, hell, even a Jerry Lee Lewis rocking rendition
in which he shakes the sleepy, popcorn-eating, soda swilling place
up a bit, maybe even bringing those exotic moldings and fixtures to life
before the main feature sparkles from the screen.

And so, every time I’m sitting there waiting for the big screen fare,
I’ll imagine how nice it would be if he could, just once,
snap out of the corral he’s in, out of all that has been constrained inside,
and make hulk-like all that stuff barely breathing there.

~ previously published in Fox Cry Review