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Lunch Break with Ted Berrigan and Neighbor's
House on Fire

Ouch, Burning House, when are you going out?
Red windows, shut your red mouths. I cannot endure
Your hot voices swarming through me because now
In my poem I have become you! I thought,
"I put this house in my sonnet and I can take it out."
Ted, I thought this burning house was something
I could don and doff. NOT. Is this what art feels like?
And what it feels like to be art? On fire not able to stop?
Shut up you red ambulance a poet is inside you!
It's 12 PM in the dark neighborhoods of sad youth.
At heart we are infinite, we are ethereal, we are weird!
And yet, Dear Ted, forgive me, but I need the boat of a bigger name:
Four syllables—Odysseus—myself tied to the mast of it
Listening to the sirens scream.

Lynn Emanuel

Boston Review

Nov / Dec 2013

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