Meditations In An Emergency at Metaxucafe


Am I to become profligate as if I were a blonde? Or religious as if I were

Each time my heart is broken it makes me feel more adventurous
(and how the same names keep recurring on that interminable list!), but one of
these days there’ll be nothing left with which to venture forth.

should I share you? Why don’t you get rid of someone else for a

I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless

Even trees understand me! Good heavens, I lie under them, too,
don’t I? I’m just like a pile of leaves.

However, I have never clogged
myself with the praises of pastoral life, nor with nostalgia for an innocent
past of perverted acts in pastures. No. One need never leave the confines of New
York to get all the greenery one wishes–I can’t even enjoy a blade of grass
unless i know there’s a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that
people do not totally _regret_ life. It is more important to affirm the least
sincere; the clouds get enough attention as it is and even they continue to
pass. Do they know what they’re missing?
Uh huh.

My eyes are vague
blue, like the sky, and change all the time; they are indiscriminate but
fleeting, entirely specific and disloyal, so that no one trusts me. I am always
looking away.
Or again at something after it has given me up. It makes me
restless and that makes me unhappy, but I cannot keep them still. If only i had
grey, green, black, brown, yellow eyes; I would stay at home and do something.
It’s not that I’m curious. On the contrary, I am bored but it’s my duty to be
attentive, I am needed by things as the sky must be above the earth. And lately,
so great has _their_ anxiety become, I can spare myself little

Now there is only one man I like to kiss when he is
Heterosexuality! you are inexorably approaching. (How best
discourage her?)

St. Serapion, I wrap myself in the robes of your
whiteness which is like midnight in Dostoevsky. How I am to become a legend, my
dear? I’ve tried love, but that holds you in the bosom of another and I’m always
springing forth from it like the lotus–the ecstasy of always bursting forth!
(but one must not be distracted by it!) or like a hyacinth, "to keep the filth
of life away," yes, even in the heart, where the filth is pumped in and slanders
and pollutes and determines. I will my will, though I may become famous for a
mysterious vacancy in that department, that greenhouse.

yourself, if you don’t know!

It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult
to appear so. I admire you, beloved, for the trap you’ve set. It’s like a final
chapter no one reads because the plot is over.

"Fanny Brown is run
away–scampered off with a Cornet of Horse; I do love that little Minx, &
hope She may be happy, tho’ She has vexed me by this exploit a little too.–Poor
silly Cecchina! or F:B: as we used to call her.–I wish She had a good Whipping
and 10,000 pounds."–Mrs. Thrale

I’ve got to get out of here. I choose a
piece of shawl and my dirtiest suntans. I’ll be back, I’ll re-emerge, defeated,
from the valley; you don’t want me to go where you go, so I go where you don’t
want me to. It’s only afternoon, there’s a lot ahead. There won’t be any mail
downstairs. Turning, I spit in the lock and the knob turns.

Frank O’Hara

Moleskine notebooks sponsored an event with Soft Skull Press and MetaxuCafe last
Saturday, July 8th, at NoLita Art Gallery curated by jen bekman. The title of
the show is Meditations in an Emergency, a group exhibition of work in various
mediums inspired by and interpreting Frank O’Hara’s poem of the same name

…says bekman, "The tenor of our culture now is that we’re in a
constant state of panic and alarm and I like the idea of art and creativity
providing calm in chaos or helping us to maintain composure in an unsteady

NoLita Art Gallery
Spring St between Elizabeth and Bowery.

Related links:
Jen Bekman

Image: Bud Parr @ FLICKR