Peter Chapman Poetry

Nancy Wilson Speaks to Nicolas Cage on the Telephone

His people were out. Her people were there but she dialed the call,
trying to reach Brubeck. The phone at Nick's rings and he picks it up.

Hello, Dave?

Uh no, this is Nick. You have the wrong number.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

That's quite all right.

Goodness, the actor, Nicholas Cage?

Well yes, I am.

I love your movies. I'm Nancy Wilson.

No way. I love your voice. I love jazz and you are fabulous.

Oh my, this is funny. Well thank you. Yes.

I mean, you have the greatest voice in jazz, you do.

Being Nicholas Cage, this comes out slowly, like Elvis, like a drinker's plasma.
Nancy Wilson, moved and girlish, begins to sound even more like herself
when she's famous.

You're too kind. I can't believe we're talking like this. It's so funny. A wrong number.
What have I seen you in?

Pauses to clear throat.

I did "Face Off" with Travolta, and "Leaving Las Vegas" with Liz Shue.

You were in that John Dahl film too, um, Rock something.

"Red Rock West", yeah, surprised she knew that. Too bad nobody saw it.
With Dennis Hopper and the amazing Emmet Walsh.

I loved it, are you surprised? Really Nancy Wilson now.

Clears to speak again.

Thank you. I've done lots of so-so stuff.

Oh that will always happen. I'm known for my worst songs.

That one in the bar, where you find your guy with another woman.

Lordy I do get tired of that song.

The film star and the singer are quiet. The phone line is just there. The solution
of their meeting vague. He can hear her singing now, softly. It surprises him,
and he begins to laugh.

She hears him laughing and this causes her to laugh. They say goodbye.
Where he is and where she is, the phones are put down softly, not without elipsis.
They are quiet, for singing and acting, and they find themselves in that sweet, revealed way.

He goes to the stereo. She makes a salad. Softly she hums as the bell hop's tears keep
flowin' and the desk clerk's dressed in black...