Daniel Nester: Leslie Nielsen Signs Autographs,  

  Comments on His Disaster Movie, The Poseidon Adventure

Splintered, with metallic plastic shards,
the ray gun a Leslie Nielsen fan brandishes
is the genuine article

from Forbidden Planet.
“Just point it at me!” he shouts, squinting,
chunky girlfriend standing ready

with the Polaroid. He refused to hold it,
but posed nonetheless, ever the trooper.
I walk up to him. Too cheap to buy

his new how-to golf tape, I offer him
a promotional flat of the cover. Pushed-in
by the line but still determined,

I spoke. “I just wanted to say
that I agreed with you — that if you
had taken up more ballast, you could’ve

withstood that wave.” Still looking down,
signing, Leslie Neilsen paused, as if the burden
of an upside-down Shelley Winters

had been lifted, the chandeliers untousled
right here in a suburban B. Dalton.
“You think so, huh?”

Smiling ear-to-ear, Leslie
shakes my hand. “But then we
wouldn’t have had the disaster

— and all that conflict.”

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