Larry Rogers – Three Poems

How We’ll Know the King Is Back

One night in a Memphis bar
an old man will begin talking.

When his story
requires specifics
a beer will help.

When a listener
shouts Imposter
a bouncer will help.

When he’s done
he’ll pull a little bag
from his secret pocket
and sprinkle its contents
on a pool table

whose pockets will instantly
become wider than before.


Noodle Soup

The beautiful
and experienced
Mary Gardner
was my first date ever.
I was 16; she
was 2 years older.
I was like a guy
who has never
even seen a
baseball game
playing in one
at the major
league level.
After a movie
she suggested
we drive over to
The Finger Bowl.
I didn’t know
what she was
talking about—
The Finger Bowl
being a euphemism
for a secluded,
makeout spot
only the more
experienced local
kids frequented—
and while Mary
looked on incredulously
I drove around for
what seemed like hours
looking for a
Chinese restaurant.


Pretending Malibu

When the surfing craze
reached Arkansas,
I drove over
to Sugarloaf Lake.

Every damaged brain
in Sebastian County
was there, mixing
Dr Pepper and whiskey
in dixie cups, ignoring
the dry lake bed,

pretending Malibu.