I am so glad that Larry Rivers made a
statue of me
and now I hear that my penis is on all
the statues of all the young sculptors who've
instead of the Picasso no-penis shep-
herd and its influence--for presence is
better than absence, if you love excess.
Oh now it is that all this music tumbles
round me which was once considered muddy
and today surrounds this ambiguity of
our tables and our typewriter paper, more
nostalgic than a disease,
soft as one's character, melancholy as
offering the pernicious advice of dreams.
Is it too late for this?
I am what people make of me--if they
can and when they will. My difficulty is
readily played--like a rhapsody, or a fresh
-Frank O'Hara, 1954; from Selected Poems
I really love Frank O'Hara. Most of the time I have no idea what his poems are about, but I love the mood that they put me in. I read this one a few days ago, as we were working on redecorating our common room. This is an exception to the mood-but-no-comprehension rule. I read it as being about artistic inspiration and interpretation, and the nature of creativity. I especially like the last stanza of this poem. I am what people make of me--if they can and when they will. I am what people see me as, but only if they're able to see me. Isn't this great? I eat this stuff up.
What do you think it's about?
And speaking of a "fresh house", here is ours:
My roommates are pretty cool.