25 September 2008...11:05 am

You Are Always A Little Too Young To Understand He Is Bored With His Sense Of The Past The Artist

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LUNCH POSTS

Wilco_No More Poetry

Wilco_Forget The Flowers

A STEP AWAY FROM THEM
by Frank O’Hara

It’s my lunch hour, so I go
for a walk among the hum-colored
cabs. First, down the sidewalk
where laborers feed their dirty
glistening torsos sandwiches
and Coca-Cola, with yellow helmets
on. They protect them from falling
bricks, I guess. Then onto the
avenue where skirts are flipping
above heels and blow up over
grates. The sun is hot, but the
cabs stir up the air. I look
at bargains in wristwatches. There
are cats playing in sawdust.

On
to Times Square, where the sign
blows smoke over my head, and higher
the waterfall pours lightly. A
Negro stands in a doorway with a
toothpick, languorously agitating.
A blonde chorus girl clicks: he
smiles and rubs his chin. Everything
suddenly honks: it is 12:40 of
a Thursday.

Neon in daylight is a
great pleasure, as Edwin Denby would
write, as are light bulbs in daylight.
I stop for a cheeseburger at JULIET’S
CORNER. Giulietta Masina, wife of
Federico Fellini, è bell’ attrice.
And chocolate malted. A lady in
foxes on such a day puts her poodle
in a cab.

There are several Puerto
Ricans on the avenue today, which
makes it beautiful and warm. First
Bunny died, then John Latouche,
then Jackson Pollock. But is the
earth as full as life was full, of them?
And one has eaten and one walks,
past the magazines with nudes
and the posters for BULLFIGHT and
the Manhattan Storage Warehouse,
which they’ll soon tear down. I
used to think they had the Armory
Show there.

A glass of papaya juice
and back to work. My heart is in my
pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.

[Ed: the above poem was first published in Frank O'Hara's "Lunch Poems," which, squirt that I am, I gave to my father as a birthday gift the year I turned 14 and he turned 50.  That is a little like what will happen when our children give us a copy of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and say, "You really gotta check this out.  God, MOM."

I wanted Lunch Posts to be a series, but I'm not sure if it will work.  For one, I don't eat lunch very frequently--some of these are dinner posts, I'll admit.  And it's simply not appropriate to take pictures during some of my more significant luncheons.  Last week when Andrew took me to Taco Bell and I didn't know what to order and he told me he was trying hard not to think of John Kerry, for example: in an instance like that, one doesn't want to ruin the mood.]

Buy more Lunch Poems here.

3 Comments

  • Poetry and music (and lunch) do not get paired togethetr as often as they almost certainly should be. And also thanks for posting that first wilco song; i’ve been trying to find it, with no exageration, for years. And, hey this is a pretty great music blog.

  • Now everyone is talking about the American economy and eclections, nice to read something different. Eugene

  • I appreciate it! Although, ugh, that economy.


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