Monday, August 16, 2010

1/8/35 - 8/16/77

From the New Yorker, December 6, 1999


Twenty years after the death, St. Paul
was sending the first of his epistles,
and bits of myth or faithful memory - 
multitudes fed on scraps, the dead small girl
told "Talitha, cumi" - were self-assembling
as proto-Gospels.  Twenty years since pills
and chiliburgers did another in,
they gather at Graceland, the simple believers,
the turnpike pilgrims from the sere Midwest,
mother and daughter bleached to look alike,
Marys and Lazaruses, you and me,
brains riddled with song, with hand-tinted visions
of a lovely young man, reckless and cool
as a lily.  He lives. We live. He lives.

                                           John Updike

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