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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

FRANK 2

"Having a Coke with You
BY FRANK O'HARA
is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne   
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona   
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary   
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still   
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it   
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth   
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint   
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
                                                                                       I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world   
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time   
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism   
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or   
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me   
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them   
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank   
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully   
as the horse
                   it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it

"In 1959, O' Hara wrote a mock manifesto (originally published in Yugen in 1961) called "Personism: A Manifesto." In it, he explains his position on formal structure: "I don't ... like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve. If someone's chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don't turn around and shout, 'Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep.'" He also says, in response to an academic over-emphasis on form, "As for measure and other technical apparatus, that's just common sense: if you're going to buy a pair of pants you want them to be tight enough so everyone will want to go to bed with you. There's nothing metaphysical about it."

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

NOVEL

Within minutes we were waist deep in the water. I removed my current season Fangini brogues from Isetan in Shibuya, as the water would have turned the leather into cardboard. It was a smart move saving my shoes but water was icy cold and made my feet feel like they were burning. It was unbearable.


The light globes started popping. It made a terrifying sound.


One of the glass cabinets shattered as water made the lighting circuitry explode. Glass cut my face and my new wooden glasses from Kawaii in Greenwich Village filled up with blood.


My young assistant Rhishannon made a vocalisation that sounded strangled and thin. Then there was nothing... just the sound of water rushing into the shop.


'Rhishannon! Rhishannon, where are you?'
It was pitch black in the shop but I splashed around looking for her. I found her upturned wheelchair, but she was nowhere to be seen. Suddenly I remembered her telling me she couldn't swim and a chill went down my back.


The other shop keepers in the subway came into Corky Saint Clair. My new shorts from Orlebar + Brown in London were soaking wet. I'm not a shy guy but they had gone slightly see through. However I didn't have much time to really think about that as it was total mayhem in the subway.


The SES  had declared the subway a disaster zone and were sealing up the area. The final roller door was being lowered. We had to decide if we were staying or leaving.


'Corky, please get out of here, you're going to drown!' Jo Jo from the weird 'vintage' shop opposite mine pleaded with me.


She had a saggy sack of stock on her shoulder. I looked at all the shop keepers laden down with bags and suitcases of merchandise, like rats fleeing Ground Zero after 9/11. Crises like this tell you so much about what people really value.


'Come with us!'
'I can't find my work experience girl!'
'It's too late, get out now!'
'You guys go...go on, get outta here! I am not leaving! Not without my assistant!'
I said with steely resolve.
'Corky, don't be a hero!'


I don't even know what a hero is, but I did know that I had to save that gutsy at-risk youth. The roller door was nearly down, in another five seconds I would be sealed in there. Even if I could find Rhishannon, how could we survive?


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I like rainbows, crystals, coloured pencils, swimming, manifesting, visualising, poetry, going out for breakfast, graphic novels, air conditioning, miniature anything, clothing made from synthetic fabrics, travelling, travelling, staying in nice hotels, headphones, husbears + soft hands. I don't like people who make me feel tired.

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