The breezy note on the fridge said


The breezy note on the fridge said,
Call me, call me even before you get home!

I did that O’Hara thing to my eyelids,
rearranged my clavicles with a shrug,

bolted down the stairs, oh all ye
bemused and loitering at the bottom,

turned a sharp corner and found
myself knee-deep in the oil of a sardine can.

Frank wrote about that one, too,
and it has been painted. I swear!

– James Steerforth (Copyright 2007)

About James Steerforth

I am an author of poetry and fiction, translator and painter who loves to have fun with borrowed feathers.
This entry was posted in Creative writing, Frank O'Hara, Fun, Literature, Poetry, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Homage

  1. maryt says:

    James, this is eerie…here’s my poem for Frank O’Hara written back in the 90s:


    I’ve read almost all of your work in the last 3 days,
    and the tears still hang around my eyes.
    Only a short while ago, I hadn’t heard of you.
    When another poet said your name,
    I read you, and now I don’t recognize my self or my poetry.
    My poems are heavy, plodding, profound in the worst way,
    yours are right there —“beautiful lies.”
    I hold back and you run toward.
    I explain and pontificate, you sweat the details,
    I describe the moonlight, you talk to the Sun.

    But, Frank, my poetry is becoming

  2. Frank O’Hara has been one of my “constant companions” for a long time, even though I originally underestimated him completely when a friend gave me “Lunch Poems” in 1975. To me, he was the way in to a whole group of New York Poets – most notably John Ashbery, Barbara Guest, James Schuyler and Kenneth Koch. All of them very different, and yet united by friendship and mutual inspiration.

    Having read some of your own poems (as available through your blog), your strong emotional reaction to reading FOH came as quite a surprise.

    Are you still holding back? 🙂

  3. maryt says:

    Oh James, such a question…! Am I still holding back? Yes, I suppose. I don’t know what else to say…

  4. whimsygizmo says:

    “rearranged my clavicles with a shrug”…oh my, yes.
    this is a wonderful poem, and this line is absolutely perfect.

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