I am in desperate need of a rube

I am in desperate need of a rube—
things can be too professional,
too slick and polished, too studied
and deliberate—
I miss Elvira;
I miss Morgus the Magnificent—
Mad Marvin and Bob Wilkins
thrill me more than the latest
Hollywood gore fest—
there is nothing worse than to watch
the almost talented;
give me the raw enthusiasm
of those unsuited to the task—
Ed Wood understands me;
I wish he was here to watch
Creature Features with me—
we could pop some popcorn
without a microwave and eat
peanut butter on saltines,
and he would wear a pink angora sweater
and drink highballs and
smoke Chesterfields from a carton
that had holly wreaths for Christmas on it—
it would be so brilliant I almost ache to imagine it.

when I was ten years old
and my own baby sitter
in Hood River, Oregon
in an almost empty
second floor apartment
with the Columbia River at my back
and a black and white Zenith in front of me
I watched
the Kit Kat Theater, I think it was—
somebody played the strains of Alley Cat
on a tinkly piano while
a curvy woman in a bad kitten outfit
walked out with a sign like the ladies
at a wrestling match do,
but instead of “round three” it said,
The Tingler, and oh, didn’t I tingle—
and oh, to this very day
don’t I have some wicked plans for cats?

—Don Whittington



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