Nick Flynn Reads “Embrace Noir”

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nick-flynnNick Flynn — memoirist of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City — gave us this reading of one of his own poems: “Embrace Noir.” It’s a bonus on his appearance on our show about Boston Noir last week. Kunal Jasty mixed his reading with the John Coltrane classic, “A Love Supreme.” Have a listen, and have a noir week….

 

EMBRACE NOIR

I go back to the scene where the two men embrace
& grapple a handgun at stomach level between them.

They jerk around the apartment like that
holding on to each other, their cheeks

almost touching. One is shirtless, the other
wears a suit, the one in the suit came in through a window

to steal documents or diamonds, it doesn’t matter anymore
which, what’s important is he was found

& someone pulled a gun & now they are holding on,
awkwardly dancing through the room, upending

a table of small framed photographs. A chair
topples, Coltrane’s band punches the air with horns, I

lean forward, into the screen, they are eye-to-eye,
as stiff as my brother & me when we attempt

to hug. Soon, the gun fires & the music
quiets & the camera stops tracking & they

relax—shoulders drop, jaws go slack
& we are all suspended in that perfect moment

when no one knows who took the bullet—
the earth spins below our feet, a murmuration of

starlings changes direction suddenly above us, folding
into the rafters of a barn,

& the two men no longer struggle, they simply
stand in their wreckage, propped

in each other’s arms.


  • NJ

    This is beautiful! The Coltrane music fits perfectly in my (untrained) opinion. I’d love to hear more poetry put to music in the future.

  • Megan O’Block

    mixed with music made this hauntingly beautiful