Men and women shout at each other in America, Africa, Asia, Australia and even Europe. They kiss each other, smile at each other, flirt with each other, hurt each other anywhere anytime. They multiply and curse each other, they divide and subtract. They enjoy different things and can even bring themselves to agree on things occasionally, but very rarely. There are women who like boxing, and some boxers are said to hit harder when women are around. There are men who like chick movies and women who like horror movies. There are women who like sex more than men, even though the opposite is usually thought to be true. Kenneth Koch wrote a long poem about what men and women do. I think it was about all the places where they might be kissing or doing other things, e.g. California, New Jersey, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea and Tasmania. Maybe it was only about women, I’ll have to pull the book out of the shelf to find out. Kenneth was very good at lists. This, in a way, is a list of men and women. Believe it or not, I tend to prefer poetry written by women. For example, I much prefer Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman. I prefer Sylvia Plath to Robert Lowell by about three landslides. But I much prefer John Ashbery to Diane Wakoski. And one of my all-time favorite gladiators is Frank O’Hara. There’s hardly anyone who could swing the club of poetry with more insouciance. And Barbara Guest, who was friends with him and a calmly sparkling star, valued him like a protector.
– James Steerforth ( © 2008 )
Written at a leisurely pace in the prescribed 7 minutes for Café Writing.