Lynn EmanuelUSAWriting2014

The Angels of the Resurrection


Even when it's become a piece of furniture

upholstered in the stiff brocade of rigor mortis,

a corpse blistered with acids into a tapestry,

poked full of holes by bullets, and blurred

by miles of roads,  they find it.

They find the body because

there is no where it can go, there is no death

deep or dark enough, no unlit alley bleak enough to hide it.

Even hidden it brings the resurrection to it,

even lying low in the slot of the unmarked grave,

its carnality works like a magnet.

They will find it, haul it leaking and weeping

up from the black suction of the fathomless lake.

The lakes, the woods, the gardens are filled

with its unmentionable perfumes.

The body cannot hide, and there's no room

for modesty, no provision for rest.

They are dogs and wolves. They will find it.

They will dig it up.


Talking with Frank O’Hara


“Frank,” I say,


“the dead, those doorstops, are fine by me,”

and turn the gas so low my poem almost gutters out.


Still, in the landscape,

a red flame glints –


a fleck of flesh.


“But poetry is zippy,” Frank exclaims.

“What is it with you


and the downbeat?”


We are staring at the sunset

bulging against the window.


And at the crows.

We love the crows –


the dark snout of them among the trees.

So ungainly, so light, they are scattered


all over the yard, clinkers. Cold coals.

Here, poetry is not too easy


as most things are

the dull particulars of Mirror Street


one beside the other.

We drink and smoke.


I quote Frank to Frank:  “I miss myself,” I say,


because this morning, pawing through his poems,

Manhattan came back to me like a heart attack.


I miss that saturnine, bookish, sexy,

fragment of a bedroom on West 10th


its windows filled with the maple’s

leafy reach, the creak and lurch of swings, the bicyclettes.


I was so intelligent and lonely

stuck up there under the dark eaves of my mind…


“And what,” I demand, “ happened to those years of art and sorrow?

To the misfortunes of Kline, and Pollock, and Peter Beck


and the man who whispered in the keyhole

“Frank is dead”


and the way half New York sank down and wept?”


A flock of crows reels past, cindery and remote.

“Poetry is a bat out of hell,” says Frank.