Friday, August 6, 2010

Poem: First Appearance of the Angel Evelyn (& the Rapture, Mom, movies)

If there'd been a sign-up table in the theater lobby when I saw The Exorcist (opening day, without warning of what the movie was about), I'd be a Catholic.

Damn, I love movies.

Eighteen years later when I saw Michael Tolkin's The Rapture, starring Mimi Rogers (who once married Tom Cruise, in itself scary), I was similarly swept away--not religiously but in psyche.

Tolkin's version of the Apocalypse stays close to the Bible. The Four Horsemen gallop along despite flying boulders and natural disasters. It's set in my L.A.--funky, as opposed to glossy--and nearby barren desert.

So I was living in Seattle; my friend dropped me off; I went upstairs to my apartment and wrote.

I was reacting to much including two biggies: My mother, with whom my relationship was so intensely complicated; and Los Angeles, ditto. My mom's name is Evelyn. When she was a little girl she had polio.

"The First Appearance of the Angel Evelyn" is an "early" poem, written in my first or second year of poeming; it was my first published poem. Howard Junker, editor of
ZYZZYVA, and John Marshall, co-proprietor of Open Books and author of Meaning a Cloud
, 1997 Field Poetry Prize made suggestions. By the way, mother was indeed religious, Christian, but not literal in interpretation; at all.

First Appearance of the Angel Evelyn

When the trumpets blow,
I will see her, the angel Evelyn,
lifted on a cloud,
air-jet transporting her
to heights. Pleasure is slight,
perfection interpreted.
She wants to be healed.

Please, grant her
that rare sex
that doesn't start
when it begins or end
when it is over.

Little Evelyn, soon an angel,
one maimed leg, I weep
to see it, the slight
drag of her right foot.

Sarah Sarai, pub. in

& included in
The Future Is Happy, available at
Amazon and Small Press Distribution.

An earlier posting also mentioned but didn't include full text of this poem:
My 3,000 Loving Arms: Delirious Feminism

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