Frank O’Hara

A Step Away from Them
BY FRANK O’HARA

It’s my lunch hour, so I go
for a walk among the hum-colored
cabs. First, down the sidewalk
where laborers feed their dirty
glistening torsos sandwiches
and Coca-Cola, with yellow helmets
on. They protect them from falling
bricks, I guess. Then onto the
avenue where skirts are flipping
above heels and blow up over
grates. The sun is hot, but the
cabs stir up the air. I look
at bargains in wristwatches. There
are cats playing in sawdust.
On
to Times Square, where the sign
blows smoke over my head, and higher
the waterfall pours lightly. A
Negro stands in a doorway with a
toothpick, languorously agitating.
A blonde chorus girl clicks: he
smiles and rubs his chin. Everything
suddenly honks: it is 12:40 of
a Thursday.
Neon in daylight is a
great pleasure, as Edwin Denby would
write, as are light bulbs in daylight.
I stop for a cheeseburger at JULIET’S
CORNER. Giulietta Masina, wife of
Federico Fellini, è bell’ attrice.
And chocolate malted. A lady in
foxes on such a day puts her poodle
in a cab.
There are several Puerto
Ricans on the avenue today, which
makes it beautiful and warm. First
Bunny died, then John Latouche,
then Jackson Pollock. But is the
earth as full as life was full, of them?
And one has eaten and one walks,
past the magazines with nudes
and the posters for BULLFIGHT and
the Manhattan Storage Warehouse,
which they’ll soon tear down. I
used to think they had the Armory
Show there.
A glass of papaya juice
and back to work. My heart is in my
pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.

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You waited for it to rain, you waited for it to stop.

‘We waited and waited. All of us. Didn’t the shrink know that waiting was one of the things that drove people crazy? People waited all their lives. They waited to live, they waited to die. They waited in line to buy toilet paper. They waited in line for money. And if they didn’t have any money they waited in longer lines. You waited to go to sleep and then you waited to awaken. You waited to get married and you waited to get divorced. You waited for it to rain, you waited for it to stop. You waited to eat and then you waited to eat again. You waited in a shrink’s office with a bunch of psychos and you wondered if you were one.’

― Charles Bukowski, Pulp

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Ruin Porn

‘I love ruin porn.’

I’m staring at a photograph of a load of chairs shoved into an Art Deco swimming pool and pins and needles have started in my hand. The pulsing works its way into my arm and I clench and unclench my fists, hoping it doesn’t spread. Once I felt it in my face; I thought it was the end. It was in my tongue. I imagined a robot virus from the future but it had passed by the time the bus got to Elephant & Castle roundabout. I turned up the music in my headphones and dreamt I was in a film about something.

‘Don’t you love it?’

Little flecks of spittle collecting at the corner of her mouth. She’s standing too close, expectantly swaying on maroon high heeled brogues with thin little laces. Red lipstick that’s a bit too orange. I remember The Simpsons: ‘Toreador, oh, don’t spit on the floor. Please use the cuspidor, that’s what it’s for.’

The tips of my fingers are buzzing and all I can think about is lifting that framed photo from the wall. I imagine smashing it into every other photo in the endless white room. I wouldn’t care if my hands got cut to ribbons. I wouldn’t care if the blood dripped from my fingers and seeped into my brand new white Vans. I wouldn’t care.

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Rave

and rant. I couldn’t stop myself. The words fell out and now they’re here, unedited.

Pink coats
Pink coats are blowing up! I wish they were. I wish they were being blown up into little confetti-sized pieces, a wool/polyester blend fragranced potpourri in memoriam of fashion. I’ve been reading about pink coats for months and now they’re here. Yaaaaaaawn. If Lauren Laverne is telling us pink coats are cool then it’s too late and we’ll be scraping them off the backside of 2014.

coats that are pink

This Is My Jam (don’t trust the haters)
I like it. You know why I like it? Because it’s people sharing music and the only thing better than people sharing music is people sharing books. This Is My Jam haters are not to be trusted, especially the ones who do the funny ‘My new jam is Bon Maman Raspberry’ on Twitter. Tee-hee! Those witty bastards are the worst, if they had a jam to share you can bet your last egg on it being Belle and Sebastian or The (fucking) Staves.

Peckham
I live here. Please stop moving here, I need to buy a house. Come and visit, buy stuff, don’t litter, eat pizza and then leave. Seriously.

god loves peckham

Burgers
When I was wee we had a burger night tea, I think it was on a Saturday. To paraphrase Elton John, Saturday night’s alright for burgers. I only ate the patty because I didn’t eat anything that wasn’t meat, meat juice or Jaffa Cakes. Burgers are great but queuing for burgers? Exsqueeze me? A baking powder? No.

Bikes/Cycling
What’s going on? Bikes are cool (and have been for a while) but never forget that once upon a time yo-yos were cool. I like bikes and cycling is faster than walking. But now that cycling is COOL you’ve got to be on your game. ‘member when you wore old jeans and a t-shirt that doubled as a nightie on your cycle to work? Those days are gone. Now you need to drop £200 on a jacket or weird ‘cycle skirt’ and steez your way past those fluro-festooned commuters. There are cycle cafes. Where are the yo-yo cafes?
PS. There’s a cat cafe coming to London. WTF.

Hashtags
We’re hashtagging our lives away. What’s that? You think Olympus Has Fallen is the #best #movie #ever. You say you’re being #ironic. I say you’re an #idiot.

Note: I love coats. I like bikes. I love cats. I’m basically the person I hate and I’m ranting on.

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Within the binary world of coded zeros and ones arises a choir of disembodied literary voices…

Rick Whitaker ‘steals’ the words of other writers to make his own world in An Honest Ghost.

“…Rick Whitaker’s semi-autobiographical novel, An Honest Ghost, consists entirely of sentences appropriated from over 500 books. Whitaker limited himself to using 300 words per book (in accordance with Fair Use); never taking two sentences together; and never making any changes, even to punctuation. In the iBook version, touching a sentence brings up its original source: a book’s title, author, and page number.

The experience of acknowledging each sentence as literary artifact, combined with the imagined accretion of books that built An Honest Ghost, deftly mirrors the burgeoning nostalgia in the narrator’s voice and, fittingly, in the careful reader’s heart.”

“…you can connect all at once with the full panoply of ghosts haunting the story, Shakespeare (for the title), Hart Crane, Susan Sontag, Thomas Bernhard, Plato, James Joyce, Chekhov, Virginia Woolf, Edmund White, Colette, Janet Malcolm, hundreds of others all chiming in.”

Beautiful.

More info Pre-Order

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Lurid

I wish I’d pulled a coat over my lurid polyester nightie, tied up the laces of my Puma Classics and walked across the sand dunes to meet him. I didn’t. I stayed under the covers, untwisting the twine that held a key around my neck and breathed out as the moment that could have changed everything passed me by. 

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A new solitude

‘Loneliness has become the most common aliment of the modern world.’

We need to stop editing our lives and share real experiences.

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Carson McCullers

She speaks!

‘The sources of creation are very mysterious and I don’t think one can find them by just looking for them. I think they have to come from within you.’

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