Cynthia Gallaher

Booking a Booth Act for the 55th Annual Employee Benefits Conference in Orlando

In the battle for trade show
Elvis impersonator gigs,
the Tampa Bay Elvis
warns against hiring Orlando Elvises,

“Who all tend to be quite heavy,
unless you like the Elvis of latter years.”

“My price is reasonable and
I’ll throw in transportation from
Florida’s west coast to east,
I can play acoustic so as
not to draw attention to myself
but more to your nurseline and 
health advocacy services.”

“I’ll behave myself, smile and chat
with squares in suits who visit Booth 1002,
not just the chickadees who wander by
and want to stroke my sequins.”

“Your paper banner announces a
Hunka-Hunka Savings,
by lowering emergency room visits through
the sultry voice of a RN urging callers 
to lie down and take their temperatures
after drinking a glass of cold water,
as well as keep your employees from 
using up your HR staff’s hourly time
with their real and imagined medical woes.”

“Just look around the booth,
Elvis isn’t dead,
and you won’t be either,
if you’ll only 
pick up the phone.”

Cynthia Gallaher, a Chicago-based poet and visual artist, is author of four poetry collections, many with themes, including Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs and Spices, and three chapbooks, including Drenched. Her nonfiction/memoir/creativity guide Frugal Poets’ Guide to Life: How to Live a Poetic Life, Even If You Aren’t a Poet won a National Indie Excellence Award. Her website is: