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Jerry Lee, a poem by George Fish

Editor's note: Today is Jerry Lee Lewis's birthday.

Jerry Lee
by George Fish

Lewis The Killer signature rock ‘n’ roll piano
Great Balls of Fire! There always was A Whole Lotta
Shakin’ Goin’ On when you rocked the piano and
sang your inimitable, raucous way and those live
shows! your long hair tumbling down your face
climbing atop the piano bench and the piano itself
playing the piano with your feet! It was an open
secret you incinerated the piano and the rock
whenever you came on stage and that’s no High
School Confidential! you scorched-earth your
career when you married your 13-year-old cousin
languished in rock ’n’ roll wasteland after that
but you always had your diehard fans, no matter
what then you went country and middle aged,
sang about Middle-Aged Crazy while not
becoming middle-aged crazy, just being the same
Jerry Lee as ever! And yes, What Made
Milwaukee Famous could make a fool out of you
but you rocked and boogied on and were always
loved for your music then came 2007’s Last
Man Standing duets with greats who wanted to
play with you from George Jones to Mick Jagger
from Buddy Guy to B.B. King Merle Haggard to
Bruce Springsteen Keith Richards to Rod
Stewart Eric Clapton to Ringo Starr and more
ending with you and the Poet Laureate of country
music, Kris Kristofferson, doing his song so
reminiscent of you, “The Pilgrim” “From the
rockin’ of the cradle to the rollin’ of the
hearse/The goin’ up was worth the comin’ down”
and now you are indeed that Last Man Standing,
from that famous photo of the Sun Records
supergroup of 1957 Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny
Cash, all gone but you still standing tall in your
eighties, and always—forever rock on, Killer!

George Fish is a self-described punk rock poet who lives in Indianapolis. He also does Lenny Bruce/George Carlin-inspired stand-up comedy.