Steve Hellyard Swartz

In O’Hare, early

It’s a Saturday morning in the late eighties
For a second there I can’t find my ticket
So I’m patting myself down, feeling myself up
For awhile there, in the late eighties,
I was hot stuff
The wrestlers begin to parade past
All these muscleheads from Vince McMahon’s traveling circus
There goes Randy “Macho Man” Savage
Jesse Ventura, I like him a lot
Hulk Hogan, wearing a beret
I’m listening to INXS on my Walkman
(Michael Hutchence has been dead how many years)?
In those days I had two cassettes that I played all the time
INXS and Fine Young Cannibals
Was this the trip where I met Quentin Crisp
Holding court at a downtown party?
With the singer from FYC standing in the corner
Looking sad as can be
Randy Savage looks old and tired
He’s bald with long hair, if that makes any sense
He looks smaller than he does on tv
Behind him trails the woman who plays “Miss Elizabeth”, his manager/girl friend
I’m going from one job to another
Me, writing films, directing, acting
Me, the next Woody Allen, the next Spike Lee
I’m sitting in O’Hare very early on a Saturday
In the late eighties
Going somewhere
Is this the trip where I meet Emily Lloyd in a Gristede’s in New York City?
Somewhere later today
Somewhere in America
All these men and Miss Elizabeth will once again beat each other up
While grown men cry for blood
Had I just come from meeting Bobbie Ann Mason in Kentucky?
Emily Lloyd had starred in the movie of Bobbie’s book
“In Country”
In line at Gristede’s I asked her if I could give her a kiss
And she’d said
I’m doing a movie with Peter Falk
I would love a Kiss!!!!!!!!!!!!
All these wrestlers and Miss Elizabeth
Who died some years ago
All these wrestlers and me, who didn’t turn out to be the next Spike Lee
All these wrestlers, me, and INXS
And don’t forget Miss Elizabeth
Trailing behind, out of breath

Steve Hellyard Swartz’s poetry has appeared in Best Poem, New Verse News, The Kennesaw Review, and haggard and halloo. His poetry has received Honorable Mention in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Competition, The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, and The Mary C. Mohr Poetry Awards. In 1990, his film “Never Leave Nevada” opened in Dramatic Competition at the U.S. Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.