Lunch Poems MOBI ↠ Paperback

Lunch Poems “oh god it’s wonderful to get out of bed and drink too much coffee and smoke too many cigarettes and love you so much” Some days the patina of sadness that accretes on everything like the residue of Time itself the film or layer of mortality that is probably only a phenomenon of our seeing being somehow linked with our memories that glistens and coats our world as we pass through it is undeniable and becomes as much a factor of our environment as that grey and yellow winter light that is somewhere between sunlight and moonlight but objects retreat into it like those sueaks from the floor or those white walls or those flags billowing crazily in cold wind And we can’t relive our memories so we have to care for them someone sang that just now and I read that we walk through everything we can never retrieve all the time Feeling that and how it’s connected to how we apprehend the thing at hand Words stand still and retrievable at the heart of motion when written is why I love books so much I think it has to do with passing And from this stage I’ll pass too and into another milieu and without writing it will all shapeshift it will still be mine but so radically different that I am through memory a stranger Scribble out a few things to immunize them against Time But always falling and echoing away especially the things that hit me hardest I’ll shift my coordinates again and steel myself for the next hour It’s lunchtime I’m out the door through another door into another set of infinitely expanding stage wings Wings that can’t fly they expand horizontally It’s lunchtime and the noise of the day vibrates the patina in interesting ways Poems sometimes help Arguably O'Hara's best collection of poems—second perhaps only to the poet's final work Love Poems published a year before his untimely death in 1965— Lunch Poems skirts about the streets alleys subways and coasts of NYC during the mid sixties O'Hara chatters about this and that as he strolls to and fro within these fun poems all the while throwing together a mishmash of dazzling images The failed experiments in form that litter the earlier collections have disappeared for the most part as has any pretension to meditative contemplation This is a What thecollection of poems One of those deals where you read through the bush of your eyebrows because you're frowning and wondering how poems written in the 50s and early 60s could be so unlike Ike or even Camelot before the Dealey went down It's non seuiturs uber alles for the most part and some name dropping and even picking up like Lana Turner and multiple times Frank's buddies Kenneth Koch Allen Ginsberg etc who all make cameos smiling sheepishly More funny than poetic Maybe this is a predecessor to Dean Young Younger still I mean I don't really know For instance one poem Steps begins like soHow funny you are today New Yorklike Ginger Rogers in Swingtimeand St Bridget's steeple leaning a little to the leftand ends like sooh god it's wonderfulto get out of bedand drink too much coffeeand smoke too many cigarettesand love you so muchMan those were the days when you could uaff coffee till noon if you weren't sleeping till noon wake up and have a pack of cigarettes for lunch while falling in love Today Everything comes with asterisks alas Thanks to City Lights and Goodreads for the review copy O'Hara's poems were somewhat difficult to grasp and reuired an investment of time to understand and absorb Written during his lunch breaks from the Museum of Modern Art MOMA during the the late 50s and early 60s this collection illuminates the conscience thought I think it's always a good thing to reveal consciousness through art but it's also eually important to be able to understand the purpose of such revelations Why are you letting us into your world What do you want us to understand Should we be altered by this understanding These are uestions that I'm not sure O'Hara fully asked of his readers I think he succeeds in expressing his thoughts through poetry but were we the readers successful in grasping the purposeI had a difficult time answering with this collection I enjoyed these poems as art but I did have a hard time connecting with why O'Hara shared these That's something I'd really like to know and I think it would enhance my reading greatly Perhaps there's an explanation out there somewhere Mothers of America was one of my favorites Mothers of America let your kids go to the movies get them out of the house so they won’t know what you’re up to it’s true that fresh air is good for the body but what about the soul that grows in darkness embossed by silvery images and when you grow old as grow old you must they won’t hate you they won’t criticize you they won’t know they’ll be in some glamorous country they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or playing hookey they may even be grateful to you for their first sexual experience which only cost you a uarter and didn’t upset the peaceful home they will know where candy bars come from and gratuitous bags of popcorn as gratuitous as leaving the movie before it’s over with a pleasant stranger whose apartment is in the Heaven on Earth Bldg near the Williamsburg Bridge oh mothers you will have made the little tykes so happy because if nobody does pick them up in the movies they won’t know the difference and if somebody does it’ll be sheer gravy and they’ll have been truly entertained either way instead of hanging around the yard or up in their room hating you prematurely since you won’t have done anything horribly mean yet except keeping them from the darker joys it’s unforgivable the latter so don’t blame me if you won’t take this advice and the family breaks up and your children grow old and blind in front of a TV set seeing movies you wouldn’t let them see when they were young the world becomes a jangle I confessed recently that I have trouble connecting with some of the abstract and postmodern offshoots of contemporary poetry Strings of images with no clear connective tissue was how I put it in that review and I still think that's an apt enough though no doubt reductive description of a lot of what shows up in literary journals and chapbooks these daysBut then I read something like Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems and realize that maybe it's not the string of images format I have a problem with at all just the way it's usually executed While I'm sure you could trace predecessors back 200 years if you wanted O'Hara was as far as I'm aware pretty much the founder of that whole structurally informal free association school of poetry we all know and have opinions about today He was affiliated with the so called New York School of poets and was a friend and inspiration to some of the key figures of the Beat movement Allen Ginsberg Lawrence Ferlinghetti—actually it was LF who first published this book but his poems feel loose and free ranging even by the Beats' standards He flits and meanders he changes the subject mid thought he throws all rules of grammar and punctuation and syntax to the wind These are poems marked by a certain glee a joy of expression for its own sake a lightness that buoys even the most brokenhearted and world weary selections And I think it's exactly that uality—that infectious gleefulness that buoyancy—that pulls the whole experiment together and makes O'Hara's work feel fresh and alive long after the too early death of the poet himself Whatever abuses his style may now suffer at other hands it certainly didn't suffer them at hisI guess it's kind of like how what we call magical realism started out as a bunch of individual writers playing with form and doing their own thing in exciting new ways but now that it's been thoroughly defined and codified as a genre and aped to oblivion most Magical Realist™ fiction is just the same dreary obvious story about I don’t know a listless couple in Brooklyn who can't conceive a child and then a hedge starts growing down the middle of their bed or something Please don't steal this idea there may be money in it You get so tired of the derivations that you forget what was supposed to be revolutionary about the thing to begin with till you go back to one of those early progenitors and it knocks you off your feet all over againLook at the end of the day I couldn't tell you what pretty much any of the poems in this collection mean There are a few the one about only shitting once per week comes to mind I'm not sure I'd even say are any good I read the whole book in a state of pleasant confusion entirely disoriented but along for the ride nonetheless And once I picked it up I always wanted to keep going You could if you were inclined to such grand comparisons say that it's a little like life itself in that regard and surely we shall not continue to be unhappywe shall be happybut we shall continue to be ourselves everything                                                                     continues to be possibleRené Char Pierre Reverdy Samuel Beckett it is possible isn't itI love Reverdy for saying yes though I don't believe it Or if that's too melancholy a closer oh god it's wonderfulto get out of bedand drink too much coffeeand smoke too many cigarettesand love you so much Short poems that introduce the reader to the lovely poems of Frank O'Hara the cashier asked if we were related I wish 😩 As far as dead writers go Frank O'Hara might be a contender for “worst death on record”When Mr O'Hara was 40 years old just starting to be on the literary scene he and a group of friends were on Fire Island in New York and their vehicle broke down As they were standing on the side of the road figuring out what to do a young twenty something drove by and hit O'Hara with his car Can't you just see this happening to youHe had finally pulled his shit together was just starting to make a little money just starting to receive some acclaim for his writing and then BAM He was deadThis life I tell you Mr O'Hara was many things including an accomplished pianist and a lover of Boris Pasternak really who isn'tHe also appeared to have a great sexual appetite and it's too bad he was a chain smoker gay and dead before I was bornbecause he wrote lines likeyou are of me that's whatand that's the meaning of fertilityhard and moist and moaningWhoaAndoh god it's wonderfulto get out of bedand drink too much coffeeand smoke too many cigarettesand love you so muchOh yeah babyAnd like the great Carl Sandburg who made love to the city of Chicago in verse if you don't know Sandburg's “Chicago” please for the love of all that is holy Google it Mr O'Hara made love to the city of New York in his “A Step Away From Them” probably the best poem in this collectionIt’s my lunch hour so I gofor a walk among the hum colored   cabs First down the sidewalk   where laborers feed their dirty   glistening torsos sandwichesand 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                                          Onto Times Suare where the signblows 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 1240 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 ReverdyWho knows what else he might have written given the chanceThis is a fun short collection and my affection for it grew after I went back and read all of the poems over again There's a learning curve here and Mr O'Hara was a very clever man Important poems by the late New York poet published in The New American Poetry Evergreen Review Floating Bear and stranger placesOften O'Hara strolling through the noisy splintered glare of a Manhattan noon has paused at a sample Olivetti to type up thirty or forty lines of ruminations or pondering deeply has withdrawn to a darkened ware or firehouse to limn his computed misunderstandings of the eternal uestions of life coexistence and depth while never forgetting to eat lunch his favorite meal

About the Author: Frank O'Hara

Frank O'Hara was born in Balti Maryland and grew up in Grafton Massachusetts O'Hara served in the South Pacific and Japan as a sonarman on the destroyer USS Nicholas during World War IIWith the funding made available to veterans he attended Harvard University where he roomed with artistwriter Edward Gorey Although he majored in music and did some composing his attendance was irregular

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