Monday, June 25, 2012

Whiskey Coke

I haven't been posting for a while. To be honest, I must say that I was traumatized last year by an incident which I shall not recount here for fear of a repeat incident. So I must write in riddles. Is a poem a riddle? Because if it is, then it's better to write that way. But can I sustain writing in poem form? What if I can't? But what if my whole way of seeing becomes the perspective of a poem? I heard that once from the fabulous poet Eileen Myles, a recent Guggenheim recipient. I guess it works. Anyway, I haven't read any of my work in public since that faux pas at the Bowery Poetry Club many, many, MANY years ago. So it was a pleasant surprise to be asked to read a poem for the Whiskey Coke readings at Freddy's Bar every 2nd Tuesday of the month. So I was there this June. Pretty cool. It was laid back. I forgot I could be funny. I didn't get nervous and got a few laughs. I guess the Whiskey Coke reading was very special to me. It's because the Frank O'hara poem by a similar name is very special to me. If you were like me and didn't know the Frank O'hara poem before, then you have no excuse now. You can read it below. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Having a Coke with You_____________________________----- is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles _________________________________________________________________-- and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them ____________________________________________________________________ I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse _______________________________________________________________________ it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it _________________________________________________________________________ by Frank O’Hara __________ Watch Frank O'Hara read it here.