Sunday, January 11, 2015

Frank O'Hara

Spending the weekend alone means binge watching early seasons of Mad Men again, the perfect company while I overhaul, organize, and clean closets and cabinets. Season 2's use of Frank O'Hara made me try to remember what poem of his that I enjoyed ages ago, when I was trying my hand at the 60's modern NYC poets. He's the one that said poetry is between two people instead of pages.

I had to poke around a bit to rediscover it, but here's the one:


 . . . then I can thoughtfully regard the justice of your feelings
for me, and, changing, regard my own love for you
as beautiful. I'd never cheat you and say "it's inevitable!"
      It's just barely natural.
      But we do course together
Like two battleships maneuvering away from the fleet.
I am moved by the multitudes of your intelligence
and sometimes, returning, I become the sea --
in love with your speed, your heaviness and breath. . . .

Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous (and how the same names keep recurring on that interminable list!), but one of these days there'll be nothing left with which to venture forth. . . .

My eyes are vague blue, like the sky, and change all the time; they are indiscriminate but fleeting, entirely specific and disloyal, so that no one trusts me. I am always looking away. Or again at something after it has given me up. It makes me restless and that makes me unhappy, but I cannot keep them still. . . .

It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so. I admire you, beloved, for the trap you've set. It's like a final chapter no one reads because the plot is over.


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