Sunday, October 9, 2005

I am not Frank OHara


I am not Frank O’Hara
nor am I a blank slate or canvas
yearning for thick chunks of chalk
or coarse ugly brushes
to write and configure upon
all the materials that not like each other
and the friends they remind you of.

I am not Frank O’Hara
but that is me
on my knees in these old photos
I was going to throwing away,
you see me looking for a cassette tape
of our favorite Human League album
that flew my hand when you
tried to grab it in some lunge of love
or wrestling hold,
it went sailing behind a bookshelf
shoved against the wall,
tall and heavy, weighted with
art books and newspaper piles,
you snapped the photo
to use against me
in some future scenario when
my dignity would be an issue
and to prove, after all, that
I am not Frank O’Hara.

I am not Frank O’Hara
nor am I concert musician
nor an old Russian man playing chess
on a side street in Brooklyn,
I am in California
under the eye of an unforgiving sun
and the second hand smoke
of fires that burn closer to the beach
every day the weather remains dry as Algonquin wit,
I am waiting for you to come home
or for the avian flu to perch on my roof,
and yes, this long and wonderful day
is done and for all the phone calls,
emergencies, angry customers and
friends who will not take your advice
I am glad I am not Frank O’Hara
because I am breathing
and reading his poems that make
me want to pick up a pen
or stroke the keyboard
for words to fill the monitor
in wondrous rhymes about
the odd turns and twist of
every spoken word and gesture
of finger and hand to faces
that will not lie about how
the heart feels,

I am not Frank O’Hara
and dune buggies
are my greatest fear.

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