St. Paul and All That



allan grant



St. Paul and All That
Frank O’Hara


Totally abashed and smiling
I walk in
sit down and
face the frigidaire
it’s April
no May
it’s May

such little things have to be established in the morning
after the big things of night
do you want me to come? when
I think of all the things I’ve been thinking of
I feel insane
simply “life in Birmingham is hell”
simply “you will miss me
but that’s good”
when the tears of a whole generation are assembled
they will only fill a coffee cup
just because they evaporate
doesn’t mean life has heat
“this various dream of living”
I am alive with you
full of anxious pleasures and pleasurable anxiety
hardness and softness
listening while you talk and talking while you read
I read what you read
you do not read what I read
which is right, I am the one with the curiosity
you read for some mysterious reason
I read simply because I am a writer
the sun doesn’t necessarily set, sometimes is just
disappears
when you’re not here someone walks in
and says “hey,
there’s no dancer in that bed”
O the Polish summers! those drafts!
those black and white teeth!
you never come when you say you’ll come but on the
other hand you do come


[copyright Frank O’Hara, 1961]




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