Aloha Shirt Man Flunks Out of the Bruce Springsteen Air Guitar Academy
michael brockley

On the first day Aloha Shirt Man showed up with an imaginary Rickenbacker. A guy wearing an
island shirt cluttered with pineapples. A cheap pair of sunglasses he picked up at a convenience
store on the ride over. He insisted on playing air guitar left-handed. As if he were Hendrix or
McCartney. Throughout rehearsals, Aloha windmilled like Townshend. Grinned during the sad
songs. Stared at his finger work on the anthems. Badlands. No Surrender, for God’s sake. And
the guy didn’t mesh with Brotherhood Row, with the Boss, Big Man, Little Stephen, and Nils
lined up at the front of the stage for the bullet song. Sax and axes pointing the way for Bruce to
pull out of Podunktown to win. The thing is, with that imaginary guitar pointing the wrong way,
Aloha was heading back toward the house Bruce was busting out of. Retreating without Wendy
sitting like a prom queen beside him in the front seat. A hickey on her neck. Lipstick puckers
blushing on his shirt collar.

you google-search #sorrynotsorry images for a twitter-based poetry writing prompt because you’ve been banned from twitter for being a clueless old man

you’ve never heard of demi lovato and her hit sorry not sorry was never shared on
curmudgeopedia you’re after all the last person drinking coffee in a diner in a black-and-white
movie in which everyone runs out of luck you lose sleep wondering whether philip marlowe
solved all the murders in the big sleep but you recognize alyssa milano she’s the actress you used
to confuse with mila kunis one of them was seduced by a vampire and the other earned her
badass degree in the book of eli you swipe past memes that read optimistic heathen and why i
hate the yeti so much until scanning a list of the most overrated movies of the last twenty years
you’ve seen nine of them including the one where charlize theron kicks armageddon in the nuts
while mad max is hog-tied to the grill of a war wagon of course you recognize your hey how you
friend joey tribbiani and the wolf of wall street who toasts you with a flute of champagne
while he picks the pocket of your future you can always pop off for an arrogant bastard beer if

you don’t feel apologetic you might even channel your inner ron burgundy after all your opinions
were disproven by somebody else’s facts somebody who reminds you that dumb tigers are deep-
stating the world and you’re not important enough to hate you’re not willy wonka and you’re still
more philip marlowe than mad max when you hit your mark you nail your line dead men are
heavier than broken hearts
and isn’t that what dinosaurs would do


Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist who lives in Muncie, Indiana. His poems have appeared in Unlost, Young Ravens Literary Review, Fatal Flaw, and Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan. Poems are forthcoming in Flying Island, Last Stanza, and Moving Images: Poetry Inspired by Cinema.