Ann Again’s Wake

I’ve spent the last two hours working on a picture called ‘Ann Again’s Wake
which is of a woman bursting through the mouth of a shark
which is itself biting through your newspaper
as you sit expecting breakfast.

This picture is a story about the Hamptons
and a woman ignored,
who amongst her circle of acquaintances
had become like the girl in Class 5 who always reeked of piss.

“Here comes Ann again,” they’d whisper
as she tried to become a part.
But on this day, disappeared off the point at Montauk
presumed drowned or eaten
every man reading his Times or Journal
imagines Ann in robes flowing
like the Piano woman come to Amagansett
dancing as if from their own daily-tempted mouths
and so entirely at odds with the browned shrikes
who sit now without make-up, aging across the table.

The women themselves
and only dimly understanding
find this transition impossible to fathom
and therefore comes ‘Ann Again’s Wake
much missed and beloved sister to the mysterious “Finnegan Again,
which for one or two summers
(when they were younger and closer to college)
was what the women would always say to each other
in resignation, as they pulled out Joyce’s book
and attempted to turn it into a beach novel.

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