I am in the basement with Dr. Watson building a Frankenstein. We were sent instruction via the mail and met here on this day to begin the great project of our lives. Neither of us knows how it will come out, or what will be done with the endless piles of corpses that arrived soon after. Perhaps we are to build and army, but no the instructions said clearly one Frankenstein. It is days like this where I like to get out of the house stretch my legs and a take a nice walk among the evening sounds. But Watson will have nothing of it. He insists that we investigate each possible avenue, each possible computation. I am tired. I want to lie down and take a nap among the sycamore trees that seem to be sprouting up everywhere now. Here it is. I will lie down among the green grasses and rest my eyes. I will not think of Frankensteins. I will not think of this.
It’s times like this when the wild-life, the unnameable wildlife, creeps down into the valley and waits in the weeds like some unexpected flower. An eye twitching in the tall grass. Everything on fire. The gates to the city barred shut, only they forget to let us all in. in the center of the city the smoke rises from the lone chimney, the last bit of this place left standing. Cats creep high backed and cackled, flashing green eyes through the smoke, through the fog, we don’t which is which. There is a sound of no sound in your ears. perhaps something in you is trying to escape, or perhaps not, you lack the ability to take measure. Instead you are measured out inch by inch one bleating point after another. A stone knows your name, yet you can’t coax it into revealing it to you. Instead you slip on your shoes, your rotten and beaten shoes and march into the city.
Frank O’Hara. b.1926 d.1966.
Here’s a poem:
Meditations In An Emergency
Am I to become profligate as if I were a blonde? Or religious
as if I were French?
Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous
(and how the same names keep recurring on that interminable
list!), but one of these days there’ll be nothing left with
which to venture forth.
Why should I share you? Why don’t you get rid of someone else
for a change?
I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love.
Even trees understand me! Good heavens, I lie under them, too,
don’t I? I’m just like a pile of leaves.
However, I have never clogged myself with the praises of
pastoral life, nor with nostalgia for an innocent past of
perverted acts in pastures. No. One need never leave the
confines of New York to get all the greenery one wishes–I can’t
even enjoy a blade of grass unless i know there’s a subway
handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not
totally _regret_ life. It is more important to affirm the
least sincere; the clouds get enough attention as it is and
even they continue to pass. Do they know what they’re missing?
My eyes are vague blue, like the sky, and change all the time;
they are indiscriminate but fleeting, entirely specific and
disloyal, so that no one trusts me. I am always looking away.
Or again at something after it has given me up. It makes me
restless and that makes me unhappy, but I cannot keep them
still. If only i had grey, green, black, brown, yellow eyes; I
would stay at home and do something. It’s not that I’m
curious. On the contrary, I am bored but it’s my duty to be
attentive, I am needed by things as the sky must be above the
earth. And lately, so great has _their_ anxiety become, I can
spare myself little sleep.
Now there is only one man I like to kiss when he is unshaven.
Heterosexuality! you are inexorably approaching. (How best
St. Serapion, I wrap myself in the robes of your whiteness
which is like midnight in Dostoevsky. How I am to become a
legend, my dear? I’ve tried love, but that holds you in the
bosom of another and I’m always springing forth from it like
the lotus–the ecstasy of always bursting forth! (but one must
not be distracted by it!) or like a hyacinth, “to keep the
filth of life away,” yes, even in the heart, where the filth is
pumped in and slanders and pollutes and determines. I will my
will, though I may become famous for a mysterious vacancy in
that department, that greenhouse.
Destroy yourself, if you don’t know!
It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so. I
admire you, beloved, for the trap you’ve set. It’s like a
final chapter no one reads because the plot is over.
“Fanny Brown is run away–scampered off with a Cornet of Horse;
I do love that little Minx, & hope She may be happy, tho’ She
has vexed me by this exploit a little too.–Poor silly
Cecchina! or F:B: as we used to call her.–I wish She had a
good Whipping and 10,000 pounds.”–Mrs. Thrale
I’ve got to get out of here. I choose a piece of shawl and my
dirtiest suntans. I’ll be back, I’ll re-emerge, defeated, from
the valley; you don’t want me to go where you go, so I go where
you don’t want me to. It’s only afternoon, there’s a lot
ahead. There won’t be any mail downstairs. Turning, I spit in
the lock and the knob turns.
- For nearly thirty years I lived under an assumed name, yet I remain unassuming.
- I once fought a cage match with Don Rickles.
- I took out a personals ad and answered it myself; it didn’t work out.
- My work on the Manhattan Project is still a state secret.
- I’ve climbed the Matterhorn.
- I always carry a .44 slug in my right hip pocket. I found it in a mens room at a carnival on the Jersey shore when I was 16, I’ve always thought it would one day bring me good luck. I still have hope.
- I have a reoccurring dream wherein I have been elected pope, but the pope hat is too big for my head and keeps falling down onto my shoulders, and it is really heavy and no one will lift it off me.
- As a child I had stigmata
- I’m worried that my love of the bourgeois interferes with my passion for the proletariat.
- I want to have a sex dream about Kafka.
- Everywhere you look was once a sea.
- I’m afraid.
- If you were to remove my skull you would find another underneath, and another, and another. A series of skulls, and fog– lots of fog.
- I invented the French kiss.
- I once worked for a man who would go from town to town selling strophes. It was my job to sit in the cart and keep it from blowing away.
- I was the first theorize a fifth state of matter.
- I hold forth my thumb to blot out the world.
salvation gets tiring after awhile.
I just wanted to lie down in the bones of your memory, maybe walk around for a while
kick the tires
get some work done.
Thanks to this fabulous new Mormon underwear unexplained erections are down 30 %.
I am a silence that tunnels forever
or a forest in which all the trees have been replaced with Bette Davis lookalikes…I can never remember which.
I once discovered a skull in my back yard. I was digging a hole to China, and there it was tucked in the dirt and ash. I was 8 and it was ancient.
Four is too hard.
the world needs more Hindu’s
You should be prepared for failure.
It all moves under the surface, or is understated. Like that time you found yourself in Kansas for no particular reason. You knew you went to bed in New Hampshire, but you awoke in Kansas, and everything about you was Kansas. Your Kansas hands, Your Kansas thighs, your Kansas lips…Oh, how I did want to explore Kansas. But you know you, with your hunger for flying, and my fear, how you had moved on into deeper locals. everything about became legend, I couldn’t even find you in the book. So I stayed behind and thought about that night in Kansas city, after the disaster, when everything reeked of smoke, rott, and blood, and I found you leaning there like a broken tree, and I tried to put you back together. I tried and tired. Such a foul machine is love.
- In the museum of Historical Oddities and Curiosities you can view _____’s angst in a ball jar screwed tight with a tattered blue ribbon tight around its neck
- At night I sleep in a cocoon of old band-aids. The blue light of the TV is not a dream but an instruction
- But of what?
- Something to stuff in the spaces in between, to lick fire out the mouths of babes
- We are dramatically reducing our size
- All our heroes are made of rain
- I’m worried about the lack of heat
- They say that’s the first thing to go
- I want to stretch our exhaustion out, wrap it around us like a band
- did I say exhaustion?
- something is hidden beyond the doorway, you can see the light filtering in
- someone is making shadow puppets in the back of your skull
- don’t worry, there’s enough ruin to go around
- specifically I was speaking of the intrigue of melancholy
- sometimes you go for days without sight of land
- someone is in the basement tunneling
- I am feeling festive, are you feeling festive?
- life is impossible without music
- he couldn’t stop staring at her lips
- what use is it if wont cure narcolepsy
- the food had been prepared, the table set, the wine poured, but we couldn’t remember if we had invited the guests
- His dream had always been to move out to the country and start a farm
- She was far more complicated that her wardrobe indicated
- I found a door in the woods I walked through it into still deeper woods. This went on for sometime: door, woods door, woods. I was beginning to suspect something
- the plots became interchangeable after awhile
- I couldn’t find you through all the smoke
- the women were smuggling dynamite out of the camp in the fingernails
- the landscaping is all wrong
- I placed a yawn in the back of your throat.
Better you than me
it’s an old refrain
something that buckles
in your lap
one morning while headed for
the coffee maker Jake
stops you touches your arm
and asks about the beautiful woman
who is rising like Venus
from a cubicle.
Later on after
the lights have gone out
and you are the only one that remains
in the whole of this desolate land
you think back fondly
on your origin
how you got from that place
to this place
How after all your years
worthless as a bent penny
you can sit in the dark
at the end of the world
thinking of goddesses rising
from the furniture.