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Frank O’Hara

Even trees understand me! Good heavens, I lie under them, too, don’t I? I’m just like a pile of leaves. — Frank O’Hara, from “Meditations in an Emergency,” Meditations in an Emergency. (Grove Press; Reissue edition April 1, 1996) Originally published 1957.

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

Frank O’Hara

On a Mountain Rocks with lichen on,rattling leaves and rotting snow I shall live to finish this cigaretteand the turnpike rose up a lesser hill,gleams the nether pond and the wire towers       on the horizon. A foot away in the dead suna handkerchief lies dirty in the snow. I’m smoking a Picayune“the worst cigarette,” press… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Excerpt · Poetry · The New York School

Frank O’Hara

Homosexuality So we are taking off our masks, are we, and keepingour mouths shut? as if we’d been pierced by a glance! The song of an old cow is not more full of judgmentthan the vapors which escape one’s soul when one is sick; so I pull the shadows around me like a puffand crinkle… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Poetry · The New York School

Frank O’Hara

Present The stranded gulch           below Grand Centralthe gentle purr of cab tires in snowand hidden stars          tears on the windshieldtorn inexorably away in whining motionand the dark thoughts which surround neon in Union Square I see you for a momentred green yellow searchlights cutting throughfalling flakes, head bent to the windwet and frowning, melancholy, trying I… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · The New York School

Frank O’Hara

I don’t believe in god, so I don’t have to make elaborately sounded structures. … Pain always produces logic, which is very bad for you. … As for measure and other technical apparatus, that’s just common sense: if you’re going to buy a pair of pants you want them to be tight enough so everyone… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry · The New York School

Frank O’Hara

Episode Dear: The Letter    The reason I loved you from the first moment we met is because you seemed to hold a certain hostility towards me which I mistook for wisdom. I thought you really knew me instinctively, which is a laugh. But who’s laughing? In the heyday of our exceptional excitement with each… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry · The New York School

Frank O’Hara

1 Well now, hold on maybe I won’t go to sleep at all and it’ll be a beautiful white night or else I’ll collapse completely from nerves and be calm as a rug or a bottle of pills or suddenly I’ll be off Montauk swimming and loving it and not caring where — Frank O’Hara,… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Poetry · The New York School

Frank O’Hara

In Memory of My Feelings My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent and he carries me quietly, like a gondola, through the streets. He has several likenesses, like stars and years, like numerals. My quietness has a number of naked selves, so many pistols I have borrowed to protect myselves from creatures… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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American Culture · American Literature · Anthology · Classic · Collection · Compilation · Contemporary · Poetry · The New York School

Frank O’Hara

Sometimes I know I love you better than all the others I kiss it’s funny but it’s true and I wouldn’t roll from one to the next so fast if you hadn’t knocked them all down like ninepins when you roared by my bed I keep trying to race ahead and catch you at the… Continue reading Frank O’Hara

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