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December 10th 2008 print

Eddie Gibbons

Henri Rousseau Meets Frank O’Hara


It’s a jungle out there, Frank.

I know, Henri. Was it you

who brought all this humid

weather over from Brooklyn?

There are tigers roaming Central

Park. Don’t go there at night without

a flashlight, a pitchfork and a net.

They say you left a naked girl

on a divan, smack in the middle

by that phallic obelisk, you brute.

Don’t worry about the girl, Frank,

the saucer-eyed lions look after her.

Say, how long is your lunch hour?

It’s fluid as a Dali dial, Henri. Museums

have their midday naps. Hell, all that

time they cram in between the entrances


and exits. Nobody’s clockwatching

in Antiquities. You fancy a papaya

and a jambalaya from Juliet’s Corner?


Papaya? Jungle juice sounds just up

my street. I’d like to do you in oils, Frank,

peeking through a bush on Seventh Avenue.