Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Graceful gestures

The New York School has for me a certain radiance and youthful charm. I gather it was the end of the age of irony, that is, AIDS hit and a lot of things became dead serious. Frank O'Hara seemed to take himself less seriously than some other spontaneous poets like Ginsburg. He presents in this poem as a charmingly theatrical friend just chatting. The image above is by another sweet star of that era, painter Joe Brainard. A critic said of him that he showed beautiful could be interesting.

Poem (Lana Turner has Collapsed)
by Frank O'Hara

Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up

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