Did You Mean Más o Menos?

Wikipedia Poem, No. 510

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“How about an oak leaf / if you had to be a leaf?” James Schuyler

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“be frank (if you can’t be frank, be john and kenneth).”

be frank

From “The Last Avant-Garde” by David Lehman:

[Frank] O’Hara’s ironically self-deprecating tone was much imitated. “I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love,” he wrote. He kiddingly called his own poems “the by-product of exhibitionism” and wrote constantly about his daily life. It was O’Hara who initiated the policy of dropping names in his poems, a habit that became a New York School trademark. O’Hara peppered his work with references to his painter friends — [Jane] Freilicher, [Larry] Rivers, Mike Goldberg, Joan Mitchell, Norman Bluhm, Grace Hartigan, Al Leslie — with perfect indifference to whether readers would recognize their names. That indifference argued a certain confidence in the poet’s ability to make the details of his autobiography-in-progress so irresistible that the reader feels flattered to be regarded as the poet’s intimate. O’Hara s celebration of friendship in poetry represented an ideal that second-generation New York School poets, such as Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Ron Padgett, and Anne Waldman, emulated in the 1960s. Everyone wanted to be, as [Ted] Berrigan put it, “perfectly frank.” James Schuyler has a marvelous rift in a letter to Berkson urging him to “be frank (if you can’t be frank, be john and kenneth). Say,” Schuyler continues, “maybe our friends’ names would make good verbs: to kenneth: emit a loud red noise; to ashbery- cast a sidewise salacious glance while holding a champagne glass by the stem; to kenward: glide from the room and not make waves; to brainard, give a broad and silent chuckle; to maehiz, shower with conversational spit drops–but I said friends, didn’t I–cancel the last. To berkson and to schuyler I leave to you.”

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Source: Lehman, David. The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets. New York: Doubleday, 1998, print, p. 73.

‘How is the sky like a grater, Jimmy?’

grater-sm

For James Schuyler

How is the sky like a grater, Jimmy?
What is sent up for shredding?

Touches blue-bore and spark-moon,
Cloud or torch in a rush against—

No, not again, this
Is how I am like a grater.

So, what comes down lesser?
Smaller, not sky. The sky

Is neither catalog,
Nor inventory,

Litany; it is not
What comes down.

The sun sets.
You can’t see it.

I’ve put too much stock
In the pot. A carrot then.

Stalks of fibrous celery chopped down.
The pot is hungry and inconceivable,

A manic boiling, now, not always
Roiled like this, sometimes, never crying

Unable to get out from under the covers,
in bed as hilled leeks. A planned community.

Sliced thinly, not shredded alive. Small circles
Small miracles, or. I listen to Le Roi Malgré Lui,

“The Reluctant King”, on my Playstation 4
And curse the prism-sun blasting the laptop’s

Lungs and abdominal cavity. It is your task
To know when I am in this room,

It is your task to know when I am in this room.
It is your task to know

When I am looking through these eyes
Or through these eyes.

Wikipedia Poem, No. 377

wiki377

down?   the sky is   not a catalog, an inventory,   a          litany; it is 
sent up for grating?           vision    touches blue bore and     flake moon   
cloud or men in a rush against god no, against       god        no, against god       
no, against god no, against god no, again, this is how         i am like a 
grater? what           comes down?    the sky like a grater.         what comes 
down. what comes down?        the sky is not a catalog,    an in a rush       
against god no, again, this       is how       i         am like a grating?       
vision touches      blue bore and           flake moon           cloud or men in 
a rush against god      no, against god          no, against god                
no, against god    no, against      god      no,    against god       no, 
against           god                     no, against       god           no, 
against god no, against god      no, against       god        no, against god           
no, against god     no,       against god no, against god no, against god          
no,       against god          no, against god no, against god no, against god       
no, against god no, against god no, against god       no, against god no, 
against          god no, against     god          no, against god            no, 
against god no, against god            no,        against god     no, against 
god        no, against god             no, against god no, against god no,       
against god no, against god     no,           against god             no,      
against god         no, against god         no, against     god      no, against 
god       no, against god         no, against god                no, against god   
no, against       god            no,       against           god no, against god   
no,          against god no, against god             no, against god       no,      
against god          no, against god           no,   against god no, against god   
no, against god       no, against god    no, against god               no, 
against god             no, against god    no, against god no, against god no, 
against god            no, against god    no, against          god   no, against 
god        no, against god           no, against god              no,       
against god         no, against god     no, against god      no, against god         
no, against        god          no, against god        no, against god             
no, against god no, against god    no, against      god no,       against god 
no, against god         no, against        god no, against god        no, 
against god     no,        against        god           no,    against god no,           
against god        no, against god          no, against god        no, against 
god              no,       against god no, against god        no, against       
god no, against god no, against god               no, against god no,          
against god   no, against god                   no, against god                
no, against god          no,           against god     no,      against   god           
no,    against god no, against   god        no, against god         no, against 
god no, against god   no, against god no, against god      no, against god                 
no, against god no, against god      no, against god no

Wikipedia Poem, No. 327

wiki327

After James Schuyler, lilac dandelion curve sublime moment trench coat gorilla

 

itself any red
utt when readymade
which it is not

clear bottles whether lhooq
citation needed names
r mutter means poverty

poetry peace possibility
or french much like eut été
in mind of the r

mutts
are difficult to pin
down precisely

it is a play on itself
and in the mind of capital
and utt rm and lowercase means

poverty poetry
peace possibility
or french much like eut été in mind

the scatological golden calf
the fountain
itself any lowercase letters

mean
poverty
poetry peace possibility or

freytag-loringhoven in french
making if any
richard in

german armut
meaning the
beautiful cedarn fountain itself and the urinal

itself any and also on itself
any lowercase letter means poverty
poetry peace possibility

although
duchamp’s lhooq citation of the famous
commercial origins and also

on its commercial origins
and lowercase letters
meaning if we

separate the meaning
poverty poetry peace possibility
from lhooq citation needed

name r mutt rn and in german in general
armut meaning any if any lowercase
letters meaning poverty poetry peace possibly

meandering ur-mutt and jeff
making levi another if and jeff
meaning rs mutter meaning if