Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Poetry Museum: Frank O'Hara

In Remembrance to a Poem by Frank O' Hara

A Day in the Life

It is 11:10 in Lakeland, a Tuesday,
two days after the World Series,
it is 2012 and I brush my teeth pearl white,
because I will get off the cozy couch in my abode
at 1:15 and then go straight to Publix,
and I don't know who will buy my chicken.

I walk up the freezing, tree lined, dead end street
and open the mailbox with my small golden key
a stack of unwanted bills and political ads
greet my blue oil pocked hands.

                                        I go on to my deli
and Miss. Calmwater (first name Bernice I once heard)
doesn't even tell me to cut the salami thinner.
And I ponder O'Keefe as I exhibit the slice,
or did I re-imagine film-scenes  from the Artist,
that dog stole the show, and made me smile; or
was I thinking about which friends I would call,
the images were practically lulling me to sleep,
with salami on my slicer.

And then I am asked to help Ms. Cherry
I tread on to the kitchen cautiously
but my feet slip Chaplinesque from the grease
spilled onto the floor.  I wake up from my dream
and stab the dead chickens.

And I am sweating a lot, because it is time to go
homeward bound, and so much to clean;
while Patsy Kline sings the lines to Crazy
written by Willie Nelson.
                                  I push my broom faster.  
Influenced by the Format of The Day Lady Died by Frank O'Connor.

Notes on the Poem:
What I like about O'Hara's writing is the  narrative is told in his Poem. He writes in the present tense during the whole poem, which gives us a feeling of walking with the author.   I had trouble with the line, becuase I will get off the 4 : 19 in Easthampton  The reason for the trouble was Lakeland has no complicated bus line,  so I had to think of what he was saying and how I could relate it to my locale.   You gain greater insight into a poem by attempting to relate the intent to your own condition.


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