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Can we stop right here
He split the atoms of
orange
And the rest dances
underfoot
A line divides us now
He dives us between two atmospheres
or is it breaths
I hold my breath breathing it in
Did it reduce us to drown
Can’t you just smell its liquid
spill
Queer he lived so disoriented
For here he produces lines in
eden
Einstein was right about relativity.

****************

Amazing, someone posits something that sends me on a three-hour research, reading & writing tangent turning my sophomoric conjecturing back to frosh year. It affords a level of satisfaction of retraction for I’m not even a freshman in these hollowed halls of modern poetry. Where does that leave us?

Intention: Intention after work tonight was to finish ModPo 9.1 (I’m behind) It was to be a rather introverted night revisiting Emily’s Loaded Gun (I’m looking forward to Howe. Must find my old YHC post regarding Loaded Gun and compare my sophomoric analysis…i think there is a huge focus not faith, not meta).

Retrospect.: An email correcting my O’Hara essay told me that my idea was incorrect (idea = O’Hara didn’t know Goldberg- BUT, i never said that) since the poem was written after SARDINES. Well, yes and no. It depends on what dear reader was actually reading into my odd little essay. I was indicating that ORANGES was written Before SARDINES (1949, to be exact), ergo, there was no narrative, the poem (Why I Am..) was non-linear in scope. I believe I also stated that ORANGES what Not inspired by SARDINES — i.e. O’Hara didn’t take the idea of subject to be only as title & recreate via12 poems of subject inspired but not represented besides title.**

Conclusion. Research took me here & here. If the thought behind O’Hara’s POV re: poetry vs painting is of interest, visit these links. Warning: the first is a dissertation, quite long, but quite fabulous. Stick with it and at the end you’ll be rewarded with the ‘art’. (yes, cheat if you must and page down.) Ferguson’s brief essay on Jacket taken from his LA catalog (this is also discussed in dissertation) should be read for a concise conclusion.

In A Word...Ekphrasis is what the dissertation posits. Representation is what Ferguson posits.

“He accepted that his poetry – any poetry – could never achieve the direct immediacy in itself of a brushstroke across a piece of canvas.” ~ Russell Ferguson, 1999

Retraction: I can no longer comfortably state that O’Hara felt poetry the better art, a better from of expression, if I am to take Ferguson’s essay into consideration. O’Hara felt he couldn’t achieve immediacy on the page. He also believed that language was language was language and no amount of pushing was going to separate the word from reference.

(I never hear her voice… but she is she is she he is is she isn’t she she is there she is there hiding hidden in it for history teaches history teaches her history herstory his story teaches herstory history is)

there still has to be a line
drawn between the mediums.

**(ORANGES — a pastoral poem in 12 sections. a thought>;;>;; an orange usually has at least 12 sections..just peel)

***impromptu poem inspired by a fellow student/bloggers challenge using Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles. It blew my mind when I visited the link he posted. He doesn’t know it yet, but Blue Poles is mentioned in the dissertation. It was one of O’Hara’s favorite pieces.

Pollock's Blue Poles, $20m+ painting. Stunning...

Pollock’s Blue Poles, $20m+ painting. Stunning. #humanbrochure #art #painting #gallery (Photo credit: knster)

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One thought on “Oh Jackson! O’Hara! History teachers ~

  1. Angela, I can only say I’m very relieved to read this, for it means I am not alone: “I can no longer comfortably state that O’Hara felt poetry the better art, a better from of expression, if I am to take Ferguson’s essay into consideration. O’Hara felt he couldn’t achieve immediacy on the page. He also believed that language was language was language and no amount of pushing was going to separate the word from reference.” I tried to pick up Ferguson’s book while in NYC this last weekend, to no avail. Will have to order it from the library at some point and add it to the endless stack. I have read essay after essay that cogently makes the case that O’Hara preferred poetry, but I couldn’t make it ring true for me. What I saw in that poem was a perceived paucity of writer tools: words, only words, endless words. But you know, that this poem can spawn such a debate about interpretation is just another indication of its greatness, don’t you think?

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