Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Poem: Frank O'Hara

Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up


"Urbane, ironic, sometimes genuinely celebratory and often wildly funny, O'Hara would allow a realm of material and associations alien to academic verse to pour into his poems: the camp icons of movie stars of the twenties and thirties, the daily landscape of social activity in Manhattan, jazz music, telephone calls from friends; anything seemed ready material for inclusion into the particular order that the moment of composition would call for. Dadaist even in his approach to his own work, O'Hara composed huge numbers of poems with apparent spontaneity and ease . . . " from Mark Doty's essay, Modern American Poetry site.


C. Dale said...

I have always LOVED this poem. It has to be simply one of the queeniest poems I have ever read. Without knowing anything about O'Hara when I first read it I thought: "Jeez, this sounds like a freakin' drag queen talking!"

Peter said...

I agree: American Drag Queen is a dialect (dialectic?)all its own.