Exquisite Corpse - Issue 4
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by C.A. Conrad

if I stand still long enough I would be a place
and no one wants to visit a place that's been a man too long

Elvis once stood still for five minutes in downtown Memphis

stood still in such a way no one knew how to get there


Democracy (another kind of Rock 'n Roll) began in Philadelphia. Rock 'n Roll (another kind of Democracy) began in Memphis. Benjamin Franklin and Elvis Presley, two great leaders in the rhythm of freedom, never met, due to the technicality that Benjamin Franklin died 145 years before the birth of Elvis Presley. This should not however prevent us from delighting in the assumption that if Benjamin Franklin had survived the two would have become fast and loyal friends. Benjamin Franklin would have no doubt been a regular at Graceland for suppers, bouncing little Lisa Marie on his two hundred year old knee, telling gossip about George Washington and that insufferable prick John Adams. Elvis would have taught the old man a few dance steps to drive the women crazy, then taken him out to the firing range to shoot targets of King George and his British Red Coats for old times sake. Oh those would have been great times, would have made some great American portraits, two American fathers of Liberation.


Who comes to Graceland?
Inventory of parking lot:

3 limousines.
8 RV campers.
9 mini vans.
18 Harley Davidson motorcycles parked together.
22 station wagons.
4 Volkswagen Bugs.
6 rusted Pintos (1 says "GRACELAND OR BUST!" on back windshield).
15 chartered buses.
12 Corvettes.
1 beat up black hearse with a smiley face sticker on its rusted bumper.
50 to 60 various Fords and other normal cars.
8 Cadillacs (1 pink).
Constant flow of cars in and out.
1 very odd vehicle that is a cross between an army jeep and Marilyn Monroe's little vixen under panties, like Viva Las Vegas meets G. I. Blues.

The ELVIS WAS BEN Interview

If you need to find yourself a Benjamin Franklin scholar it's important to spend a little time in Philadelphia. They bubble to the surface like the burnt oats of a New World porridge. They're not as life-loving and friendly as Elvis scholars, but they have their moments. I interviewed one such burnt oat mulching across Philadelphia who, by the end of the interview insisted his name never be mentioned. It seems such deeply controversial questions connecting Elvis and Franklin would send a shudder of disbelief throughout the academic circles of American History. The Benjamin Franklin scholar, who agreed to the tape recording of our interview, will be known hereafter as BFS.

ME: Is it true Benjamin Franklin is a distant relative of Elvis Presley?

BFS: Eh--did you say Elvis Presley? (smiles)

ME: Yes.

BFS: (laughs) No.

ME: How about the theory that Elvis Presley was the reincarnation of Benjamin Franklin?

BFS: What? Whose theory?

ME: Mine.

BFS: (frowning) Is this some kind of joke?

ME: No, not at all, in fact, didn't Ben --- may I call him Ben?

BFS: I suppose so, it's not MY name, no need to ask ME for permission!

ME: Didn't Ben record a dream he had where he scrawled the mysterious word ELVIS? Wasn't he puzzled about this Elvis word?

BFS: That's nonsense, no such thing ever happened!

ME: Did Ben have any strange eating habits? Like fried peanut butter banana sandwiches for  instance?

BFS: I'm not going to answer that!

ME: Because it might be true?

BFS: Because your question is absurd!

ME: Isn't it true that Franklin had a very serious addiction to prescription drugs?

BFS: They didn't have Thrift Drugstores in 18th century America!

ME: Maybe when he was in France?

BFS: All right! I've heard enough!

ME: Is there a conspiracy to withhold information connecting Benjamin Franklin to Elvis Presley!?

BFS: Young man, whatever you wish. I insist you withhold my name from this project of yours though! I want nothing to do with your --- your Elvis thing!


No one absorbed the true power of Elvis more than the Queen herself, Priscilla. Try this at home: Take a question, any question your life has to offer. Open and close the book (Elvis and Me, 1986 Berkley paperback edition) nine times with eyes closed, concentrating on your question, and you will find your answer somewhere on the ninth opening.


QUESTION: Elvis, can you hear me through the sheath of sonic jet fuel mist?

ANSWER: (page 113) Elvis began calling me almost immediately, and we'd talk for hours.

QUESTION: Elvis, should I let Norberto cook me his famous marijuana burrito?

ANSWER: (page 106) I was in such a state of ecstasy that I didn't notice what I was drinking: four double screwdrivers, all drunk through a straw.

QUESTION: Elvis, is Norberto more in love with his wife than he is with me?

ANSWER: (page 168) I wanted to believe him, but I couldn't help noticing the national gossip magazines and the headlines about the torrid affair on the set of Viva Las Vegas.

QUESTION: Elvis, Norberto says I'm too weird to go out in public with him. What do you feel?

ANSWER: (page 212) Night after night he kept his makeup and the turban on all through dinner and up until bedtime.

QUESTION: Elvis, if I surrender into my tenderness for good how would I survive the World?

ANSWER: (page 215) He was convinced, and nearly had us convinced, that there were energy waves so powerful they caused the stars to glide through the universe.

QUESTION: Elvis, I'm tired of Norberto spitting overhead and catching it again in his mouth. Actually, Elvis, I'm tired of this relationship altogether, what the hell do I do?

ANSWER: (page 162) Wearing his football helmet and his big furry Eskimo coat, Elvis proceeded, as his entourage cheered him on, to bring down the house and set it afire.

QUESTION: Elvis, am I ready to give up my Elizabeth-Taylor-chocolate-dipped-french-fry lifestyle?

ANSWER: (page 286) Elvis was never much of a letter writer, but he now wrote President Nixon a letter explaining how he could assist the youth of today in getting off drugs.

QUESTION: Elvis, how do I explain the footprints on the refrigerator door to my landlord?

ANSWER: (page 216) "Do you see them?" said Elvis, looking intently at the course.  "See what?" I asked, ready to hear anything.  "The angels, out there."

QUESTION: Elvis, why did you die when you did?

ANSWER: (page 210) It was this kind of higher state of consciousness that Elvis was hoping to achieve.

QUESTION: Elvis, I've had many dreams of you, but I'm confused by the messages.

ANSWER: (page 204) He asked Larry why, out of all the people in the universe, he had been chosen to influence so many millions of souls.

QUESTION: Elvis, how am I doing writing advanced ELVIS course?

ANSWER: (page 89) I'd never played blackjack before, but after a few hands, Elvis thought I had the hang of it.

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