Steve Hellyard Swartz

It’s early June and midnight

Two days before the show goes up and
She’s driving on I – 10 doing about 85
After rehearsal in her blue beat-up Chevy
Goddamn it, I can’t believe this thing is still alive!
She screams at the light, the light coming from the radio tower over yonder
Somewhere out there between the mall and Georgia the skinny ass quart bottle radio tower blinking red
Little pinprick ashamed of itself red
T-shirt on in the pool kinda deal
John Lennon’s boot of a voice kicks through the radio
John Lennon shredding his cords singing
Twist and Shout
I read that they did this in one take
It was the end of a long long day and George Martin was ready to call it quits
Which wasn’t the kind of thing you ever said to John Lennon
I actually am saying that as
She drives with her knees
I -10 goes from here to the sea
All the way to the sea
It’s a death race
Between a screaming ghost and
He did this in one take I scream!
She looks at me
Then floors it
To run a red
What I think is –
It was all too perfect
The motor in her rust-blue Malibu
Cranked high as a kite
Just too right
and John Lennon singing the absolute shit out of Twist and Shout
So when I said what I said
about what I’d read
She couldn’t help herself
She had to do what she did which was
Run every red
Every slack-jawed lantern face offa 10
To get me out of her sight out of her life
Before Twist and Shout could end

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.