Tuesday, August 6, 2013

my heart

My Heart
by Frank O'Hara

I'm not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don't prefer one "strain" to another.
I'd have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says "That's
not like Frank!", all to the good! I
don't wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart—
you can't plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.


  1. To be that alive with both sides of the same coin...the yin and yang of one's heart...is perhaps our greatest achievement, Ruth?

  2. these two poems come to mind:

    a sketch for a modern love poem

    tadeusz Rozewicz

    and yet whiteness
    can be best described by greyness
    a bird by a stone
    in december

    love poems of old
    used to be descriptions of flesh
    they described this and that
    for instance eyelashes
    and yet redness
    should be described
    by greyness the sun by rain
    the poppies in november
    the lips at night

    the most palpable
    description of bread
    is that of hunger
    there is in it
    a humid porous core
    a warm inside
    sunflowers at night
    the breasts the belly the thighs of Cybele

    a transparent
    source-like description
    of water
    is that of thirst
    of ash
    of desert
    it provokes a mirage
    clouds and trees enter
    a mirror of water

    Lack hunger
    of flesh
    is a description of love
    in a modern love poem

    this one translated by czeslaw Milosz (i added the line division at Lack hunger that i saw in another translation and that i think is necessary.)


    I imagine The Gods

    by jack gilbert

    I imagine the gods saying, We will
    make it up to you. We will give you
    three wishes, they say. Let me see
    the squirrels again, I tell them.
    Let me eat some of the great hog
    stuffed and roasted on its giant spit
    and put out, steaming, into the winter
    of my neighborhood when I was usually
    too broke to afford even the hundred grams
    I ate so happily walking up the cobbles,
    past the Street of the Moon
    and the Street of the Birdcage-Makers,
    the Street of Silence and the Street
    of the Little Pissing. We can give you
    wisdom, they say in their rich voices.
    Let me go at last to Hugette, I say,
    the Algerian student with her huge eyes
    who timidly invited me to her room
    when I was too young and bewildered
    that first year in Paris.
    Let me at least fail at my life.
    Think, they say patiently, we could
    make you famous again. Let me fall
    in love one last time, I beg them.
    Teach me mortality, frighten me
    into the present. Help me to find
    the heft of these days. That the nights
    will be full enough and my heart feral.



Welcome. If you would like to say something, rest assured that I will respond in my self, even if I do not respond in word.