Tag Archives: Frank O’Hara

Frank, Stop Staring Please

Written on the back of a paper plate.

Frank, Stop Staring Please

After drinks, Frank O’Hara starts to look kind of creepy–
staring from the cover of a book of collected poetry, in
black-and-white and green-and-black frowning.

Especially when seated on the shelf next to the toilet
Frank, looking, why?
You want more privacy when you are drunk.

Stop staring!
I stayed in Boston! I will write on the backs of paper plates!
I will write at a cold iron coffee table at Cardullo’s
in Harvard Square, I will make them famous
I will start the Boston School

And all my friends will go to the school.

Let’s high-five, let’s move to New York. Let’s move to Brooklyn.
Let’s not, let’s stay, screw Brooklyn, pastrami sandwich.
Just do not stare, master poet.
Down feather.

Let me sit in decided peace.


To Alan Hurst

Written early on this semester.

To Alan Hurst

There are these feathers.
Tiny, white, down feathers,
that I often see floating around my head
as from nowhere.

My professor,
a gray old Englishman with a hound’s jowls,
stopped me as I began reading aloud
a poem by Ginsberg. “Don’t forget,”
he said, absently wiping a tear from his cheek,
(from his old, leaky eye)
“to read the title. The title is a part of the poem.”

One day he said,
“I love Frank O’Hara.
He is my favorite poet.”
He told us how Frank O’Hara would scribble his poems
during lunch hour, on a napkin
or the back of a menu.

I wish a dash of inspiration would come to me
sometime over a mugful of soup:
or as I observe these little white down feathers.
I wish those feathers were inspiration.
I could inhale one and cough out a title,
a downy puff of cleverness, a wet
ink stain
on the page, from my lungs to your eyes.
Alan would say: “Check!”

I could read the title along with the poem,
Then read the rest aloud.