Monday, April 7, 2008

Frank O'Hara

Poet Frank O'Hara has been everywhere this season, which is very unusual for spring. Perhaps it's all the rain?

The Museum of the City of New York has been showing "Manhattan Noon," photographs by Gus Powell inspired by O'Hara's 1964 collection Lunch Poems, capturing the city's inhabitants in "the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon."

Borzoi Books just published a beautiful new hardcover edition of "Selected Poems," edited by Mark Ford, which greatly expands on the previous edition published way back in 1974.

Knopf's Poem-a-Day e-mail newsletter for April 2nd featured O'Hara's 'Avenue A,' and also included a link to a downloadable broadside of 'Having a Coke With You.'

And now the New Yorker has a three-page review of his personality, of all things.

The New Yorker says "...where most poets deposited words with an eyedropper, O’Hara sprayed them through a fire hose." In honor of this endlessly verbose and ever contemporary poet, a poem for Bloggers:

As Planned

After the first glass of vodka
you can accept just about anything
of life even your own mysteriousness
you think it is nice that a box
of matches is purple and brown and is called
La Petite and comes from Sweden
for they are words that you know and that
is all you know words not their feelings
or what they mean and you write because
you know them not because you understand them
because you don't you are stupid and lazy
and will never be great but you do
what you know because what else is there?

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