Friday, August 16, 2019

that was love but I kept on traveling

we don't do much ourselves
but fuck and think
of the haunting Métro
and the ones who didn't show up there
while we were waiting to become part of our century
I don't know why I picked up Lunch Poems a couple months ago
I was feeling the need for poetry I guess
but why Frank O'Hara, I don't know, I thought I'd had enough of him.

Maybe someone recently referenced him in a clever way, but I don't remember so I guess it doesn't matter
maybe I thought of him because I am working alongside a Frank these days
suddenly everyone is Frank without being frank

or I wanted something to read over lunch
they were written over lunch, shouldn't they best be read then too

I should write at lunch, only they wouldn't be poems exactly, and probably not at lunch either
lunch here is far too social for quiet time of any kind
unless I leave the confines of the office and why would I forsake the catered lunch

I could write breakfast musings, or mid-afternoon caffeine-craving ramblings.
Could I craft a collection of something that reflected my daily life and the passage of time (not unlike, say, blog entries)?
I'm writing this on my phone, in the metro, on my way to work. Maybe this is the time
for writing — I will need to strengthen my fingers

anyway, I'd been reading a poem from time to time and then I let this volume drop
until I was in San Francisco last week, my company has an office there, I'd never been, and
with a free afternoon I wandered over to City Lights

upstairs on the wall of beat poets and (essentially) no women was this very same
volume I stared at it a long time thinking about why there were no women when
suddenly someone said hello and it took a second to realize they were saying
hello to me I looked up and there was Frank from the office
saying hello to me, fancy running into you here on a free afternoon in San Francisco

there you have it so now the Lunch Poems have been my commute poems, morning and evening poems,
start-my-workday poems, metro poems, riding-through a-slice-of-city poems

I'm not sure how much I actually like the poems.
Most of them just hum along describing the city and referencing whatever might be going on in Franks's
little head, or his personal life at any rate.

I wonder how much time he put into them or did they just spill out, they certainly don't feel crafted as if
any crafting must've been in fine-tuning his thoughts rather than wordsmithing the expression of them, nary a care
for whether the reader can decipher the riddle of his lunch hour.

Though I suppose if I were to write my commute-time musings even though they might mainly be about sex and dating
they still would be sprinkled with the books I'm reading and that woman on the park bench
loudly breaking up with her boyfriend over the phone and the imagined lives of buskers in the metro.

And what's the deal with Kenneth Koch's mother, does she really only appear once she feels so present

Very few of the poems speak to me as a whole but every now and
then a line just guts me, and I think there must be more
to the poem as a whole so I reread it but no, there's nothing
more, just that line, maybe that's enough.

I was trying to explain to a friend (well, he's more imaginary than friend) that the best
poems arouse me sexually, that line you feel deep in your belly when you think a man's going to kiss
you and you want, really want, this man to kiss you, that's what a good poem is like.

But maybe I read poetry the wrong way.

How about:
Is this love, now that the first love
Has finally died, where there were no impossibilities?
and I explain to my virtual lover that it has nothing to do with love it's about
the (erotic) tension between possibility and impossibility and hell yes that turns me on

imagine seeing the world always in the rosy
afterglow of sex or with the flushed anticipation
of someone touching you, it's a good poem if it
whispers in my ear or grazes my nipple

(Maybe now he thinks I'm crazy. I don't think the word
love has ever transpired between us, that might
be awkward, our relationship is purely physical,
in an entirely non-physical way.)
and then in Harbin I knew
how to behave it was glorious that
was love sneaking up on me through the snow
and I felt it was because of all
the postcards and the smiles and kisses and the grunts
that was love but I kept on traveling
— August 16, 2019; 9:43 am

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