Monday, November 28, 2005

at least as alive as the vulgar!



My Heart, by Frank O'Hara

I'm not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don't prefer one "strain" to another.
I'd have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says
"That's not like Frank!", all to the good! I
don't wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart--
you can't plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.

A friend of mine sent me this poem many months ago, and I was just roaming through my old email and found it again. I'm so glad I did. She thought the poem and I would be simpatico and we are. I would hire it to be one of my small spokesmen.

Having a baby is helping me wriggle free of...something good to be free of...um:

*the tendency to judge myself by my artistic output/lack thereof

*always turning my head from side to side to see where my peer horses are in the race that we aren't actually running anyway

(Anything racetrack-y is an optical illusion that I fall for over and over again, the same way I'm fooled every night by my dreams and I think a very young John Lennon really is offering me $16,000 to buy my house.)

*the stupid wish for my life to look cool, have a particular flavor about it

*the idea that my life will end up worthy or unworthy as a result of anything other than what my goddamn heart did during its stint

I want to always be shaking off whatever Frank's shaking off in that poem there, and then some.

Brrrrrrrr!

edit: My old and dear friend Kris has a little boy, Linus, and she looks like she's doing some of the very wriggling free that I aspire to do. Look at you go, lady.

5 comments:

la Ketch said...

Shake it baby! good stuff. so hard to get through one's head. the invisible race is infuriating. NO MORE! at least until we forget again... keep reminding me, won't you?

Eve said...

Well, you seem to have the open heart thing DOWN, and that would seem to me to be the hardest part. Having my daughter has brought me so much closer to being the me I really want to be. I bet you'll feel the same. :)

louella said...

man, the judging and the racetrack are two big ones. kudos to you for moving on. i'll hope i do that someday soonish.

i forgot to tell you that a friend of mine won this literary prize and i got to go to a Very Fancy recpetion where james salter read. it was beautiful, and afterwards i told him about how you read his book every year. he seemed really touched.

tina said...

Hil and Eve: Thanks, you sweet ladies. And will do, Hillo.

Louella: What?! That's amazing. That was very kind of you to relate that, thank you!

P'tit Boo said...

Tina, where are you ?!!!