fan of the avant garde, proponent of all culture
Yellow always meant
Honesty, so when
You died and
Turned yellow we
Knew you were
Only a god.
We fill the
Grave with flowers
And shroud you
In rainbow cloth.
Still, still, still,
Only a god.
The fault is that everyone can speak
THE MAY ’88 SEX RIOTS
he jiggled the knob & the cocksucker was doomed.
okay. one cried. one fucked with his prayer beads.
one futzed with his tie. his pant legs
hiked up. people blipped.
embellish. he zipped his fly.
revise. he settled his nuts.
botch. he dodged turds.
- Moving Past Suppositiries
- You Have 3 Min. Before I Wound You
- The Person is My Dog
(if it is words does the language change is there no longer thrill-flip flip)
1 section of my lie as well, next week
small talks in plainwater a short talk on walking backwards
-lets you know he’ll be dead
-find out about the dog/ a dead flosser guarding a kettle
unlike the last discovery it turned out to be laundry lists
my favorite weapon a cage more lingus than Barbie
more frontal than ken
Right away many people wearing sandals are popular
Can it involve my neighbors?
L.Z. on Chaplin: Inventive existence interacts w/ other existence in all its ramifications.
………….26 I Remembers of Frank O’Hara by Kenward Elmslie
…..I Remember the first time I heard Frank read a poem. I was squunched down on a wall-to-wall carpet so as to be inconspicuous, in an uptown NYC penthouse where I lived with John Latouche.
…..I Remember liking the poem John Ashbery read—a witty list like Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It” gone a bit bonkers—surreal bizarre. This was in the early Fifties. Frank and J.A. were still at the starting gate.
…..I Remember being scared shitless by Easter, Frank’s poem. Full of scabrous violent language (fecal fury)—it was an outlaw work, a madhouse rant, dredged up from an ocean chasm where the testicles of spiky bob-and-suck sea monster tentacles clutch at human detritus—lava lamps with cuneiform porn sequenced in the viscous blobs: pastel sludge, with irresponsible I-Do-This-I-Do-That’s beamed in genetically. The hapless tourist (me) succumbs to Rapture of The Depths. So many air-bubble Franks, and a multitude of faux smoke-and-mirror air-bubble Franks, mirrored, vying with each other to be chosen James Dean, star come-on in what inescapable prognosis, is turning into a snuff film.
…..I Remember actually believing, back then, poetry wasn’t supposed to do that upset people, me anyway, by turning into a snuff film. How dare he! I hated that poem.
…..I Remember Frank typed up the script of John Latouche’s musical, The Golden Apple, published by Random House. John’s concept transformed Homer’s Paris into a traveling salesman. Paris descends in a balloon to sell his wares. Thunderstruck rustics, astonished at his airborne arrival sing a wavery sounding
……………………………………..It’s a balloon
Frank replicated this musical effect visually on the page, so the reader could see Paris descend and land:
…………………………………………It’s a ba
…..I Remember on my way to meet Igor Stravinsky in the Philharmonic Green Room, post-concert at Lincoln Center, Frank, in front of the Hotel Chelsea, demonstrated with balletic precision how I was to kneel, teaching me how to pay homage to a Great Genius, Old Russian style. Or so Frank claimed.
…..I Remember flirting with Frank at parties.
…..I Remember ending one dance, entwined with Frank, cocooned in a rug on a living-room floor. Best dance I ever danced.
…..I Remember how Frank, light-on-his-feet balletomane, improvised his version of Balanchine choreography, twirling deftly across his loft.
…..I Remember taking Frank and LeRoi Jones to a play by Arthur Miller that savaged Marilyn Monroe. We lovedour Marilyn. We hated Arthur.
…..I Remember seeing Frank’s play, The General Returns from One Place to Another, starring Taylor Mead as The General. I loved it, especially a popular song pastiche I assumed Frank had written the flawlessly dimwitted lyric of. I congratulated him effusively—what a brilliant parody! Patiently, forgivingly, he explained it was a real popular song he’d—er— appropriated.
…..I Remember watching Frank revise a poem about a bridge. The Seine. Paris. Ned Rorem was setting it Poulencishly and needed some word changes. How happy this made me! Frank, as poet understood how to write a song lyric. Words get cut, altered, fixed. Comes with the turf. As poet/lyricist, I felt marooned. The culture chasm between poets and songsmiths seemed unbridgable. Brecht? Prévert? Foreign. Two exceptions. Langston Hughes, who wrote impeccable lyrics for Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. And Weill’s lyricist for One Touch of Venus: Ogden Nash. And now Frank.
…..I Remember John Latouche produced a short film, long since lost starring Frank, J.A., and Jane Freilicher, based on a poem by James Schuyler: Presenting Jane Freilicher, which Jimmy both narrated and skulked in as The Outsider. In one scene, Jane walked on water, on Georgica Pond, in the Hamptons. Wooden boards just under the pond’s surface supported her miraculous feat.
…..I Remember a film the poet Daisy Aldan made, in which Frank walks on the tracks of the Third Avenue El, suiciding supposedly.
…..I Remember Frank, in mixed company (not done in The Fifties) detailing a sex adventure with his black postman, who had to climb a lot of stairs, as Frank then lived in a walk-up. And how in a subway booth, Frank related he was giving oral to the token dispenser when a rush-hour train pulled in. Disconcerting? All those straphangers streaming past, inches away? A frisson heightener, Frank insisted.
…..I Remember going to bed with Frank—a tiny cubicle in the loft he shared with Joe LeSueur. I figured this was my one chance for a sizzling all-time Dr Zhivago-scale romance with this charismatic, adorable poet I was hopelessly, helplessly, instantly in love with. Such heavy-duty baggage was so stressful, I couldn’t get it up. Also (get real, Kenward) a line of Frank’s inamoratos stretched down the block in my mind’s eye, awaiting their turn.
…..I Remember I reverted to flirting with Frank at parties, period.
…..I Remember Frank phoned me up, several times, to tell me he’d dreamed of me the night before. He was a spell-binding raconteur of dreams, but what really impressed me was his supra-refined mannerliness. Dream of a chum? Let the dreamee know right away. True-blue etiquette.
…..I Remember Frank referring to himself, quite unpejoratively, as a “fag.”
…..I Remember Frank-in-a-fury was no picnic. When LeRoi Jones ended their friendship, changed his name and withdrew into black separatism, Frank turned his fury on himself—should have known better than to trust LeRoi, who came from well-to-do property owners (beware the bourgeoisie). Problematic, for whites to reach across the racial divide too trustingly.
…..I Remember Frank and Vincent Warren, a Canadian ballet dancer he was totally enamored of. I’d sneak furtive looks at Vincent. He was incredibly beautiful. And so nice, modest, seemingly unaware of his looks. Frank-in-love radiated such joy, they were enchanting to be with, despite my envy attacks. I longed to be them.
…..I remember after my first poetry reading at NYU, horrendous angst, Frank casually asked me to have drinks at the Cedar Bar, hoisting me, new kid on the block, into Poet Nirvana.
…..I Remember playing bridge with Frank and the Two Joes—Joe LeSueur and Joe Brainard. Poetry scuttlebutt and art world scandal made it just about impossible to focus on the cards.
…..I Remember sharing a house with Kenneth Koch one summer. Bridgehampton. We were analysands, off the couch for August. One weekend, Frank and Bill Berkson shared the living room sofa-bed. Did they? Didn’t they? No one knew for sure. We went for a row, Frank and Bill and I, in the pond by the house. I took a few snaps of Frank, one with Bill’s face partly hidden by Frank’s shoulder: angelic visitation. I felt an urgency, out-of-kilter with the bland summer afternoon, to capture him on film, before it proved “too late.” Not pre-science of death exactly. I just wanted a memento of Frank’s presence, to celebrate how he lifted up my daily round that particular day, and heightened the ornery passage of time into an event, a kind of art form.
…..I Remember one summer in Vermont, hearing he’d gone. I dreaded going back to the city, come autumn. NYC devoid of Frank?
…..I Remember waking up from a dream about Frank that skittered away as I surfaced into morning reality. A double loss. Dream gone and no Frank to phone.
I prize the adventure of learning: scholarship not as a predetermined ride […] but as an exploration by association, one perception leading to the next, a network of stoppages, detours, reconnaissance. Not double majors with extra requirements, but multi centered minors, connected by peripheral routes, less-traveled passages, hunches.
—Charles Bernstein, “The Practice of Poetics”. Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions. 2011.p 74 (via sculptressgathers)
Hanatarash “Cock Victory” ハナタラシ (1985)
Forrest Bess, “Untitled” (1952)