Nancy Flynn

Up in the Old Hotel

…giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
—Leonard Cohen

Those shiftiest of letters “Q” and “A” take
The elevator, take the A train, take
The talk to the shabby, the scarab or the scab, meet
In the middle, stick
With the worker, queening it over while they honey
Up their offertory statistics, explode
More firearms (per capita) until they halo
Into hot gas, old stars that sphere
Around a galaxy, swerve
To retina, to whirligig then beetle,
Gemstone hieroglyphics under a jetty, more chinning
Zigs as if king or bird, the bee’s knees to tell
Me myself I, tell mine to merry-go-round, to seal,
To flame, to tender, to do the drip drip
Woo-hoo, uptown apiary toodle-loo before it’s necessary to believe
Being is in their candle, its missive of yellow and broke, and brood
Because long live the face, their personal mermaid who’ll angel
Every unexplained echo, stoop
To bunny-tie their shoes, bend
Beneath the fray and net
The two of them, larval yet dishabille, steadied
By return (as they must) to wax and be
Pillars of the code who radio
The letter H, loading-dock deliveries bound
For this hospitality capital, more types written
“Sticky/Wicked,” riced.

Artist’s Statement

“Up in the Old Hotel” is from the manuscript, Miss Scarlet in the Library with a Rope, an abecedarian of poems that take their titles from books by favorite authors. Thanks to Joseph Mitchell for this one.
Nancy Flynn grew up on the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, spent many years on a creek in Ithaca, New York, and now lives near the mighty Columbia in Portland, Oregon. She attended Oberlin College, Cornell University, and has an M.A. in English/Creative Writing from SUNY/Binghamton. Her writing has received an Oregon Literary Fellowship and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship; her most recent chapbook is Eternity a Coal’s Throw. A complete list of her publications is at
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis ( is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit ( and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.