untasted by the meek
scorned by the strong
somewhere in the middle
spitting out the taste of something
I wish I hadn't bitten
ANIMALSMore about Frank O'Hara here.
Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth
it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners
the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water
I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days
While 12 Oranges For Frank O’Hara was inspired by the O’Hara poem "Why I am not a Painter," each painting itself references one of the poems from O’Hara’s "Oranges: 12 Pastoral"O’Hara, an influential New York city poet and curator at the Museum of Modern Art, collaborated with many artists in his lifetime including Grace Hartigan, Larry Rivers and Franz Kline. These pieces are also an homage to those literary-visual collaborations.
Why I am not a Painter
by Frank O’Hara
I AM not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,
For instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink’
he says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters. “It was too much,” Mike says.
But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems. I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mikes’ painting, called SARDINES.
Oranges: 12 Pastorals by Frank O'Hara
More about Frank O'Hara
From Hell by Alan Moore. Simply brilliant. A rich mix of masonic intrigue, the history, architecture and culture of Victorian London, and the mystery of Jack the Ripper.
The Dream Suite was deeply influenced by Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comic book series. There are so many ways to describe this series, and none that I can think of do it justice, so I think I'll use a quote from Gaiman himself."Could I do another five issues of Sandman? Well, damn right. And would I be able to look at myself in the mirror happily? No. Is it time to stop because I've reached the end, yes, and I think I'd rather leave while I'm in love."
I also dearly love Lucifer from Mike Carey
and Fables by Bill Willingham
I don't like old stuff. I didn't like it in school, I don't like it now. The poetry inflicted upon us in high school? In college? Old stuff. That's too bad, because there is a lot of good new stuff out there.
One of the first post-modern poets was Frank O'Hara. New stuff. So I like it. He was also a curator at the MOMA and brought a visual artist's sensibility to poetry. Well, at least that's what I think.
If you want to get started reading contemporary poetry I heartily recommend the following books:
Which is an offshoot of a web-based project called Poetry 180 that he did to introduce high school students to modern, accessible poetry.
William Vollmann recently contributed to a book called Avant Porn [edited by Michael Hemmingson}, and I guess that's one way to describe his work, although it ranges wildly.
The Rainbow Stories each key off one of the colors of the visible spectrum, a conceit irresistible to this artist :) and borrowed for my own series Beyond The Knife. This is my favorite Vollmann book, followed by the Royal Family. As one reviewer put it, neither are for the faint of heart :).
His first novel, You Bright and Risen Angels, I found impossible to get through though.