Having a Shot with You

Having a Shot with You
is even sadder than returning to sanatorium, nursery, Munchmuseet or our Mont-Saint-Michel
you’re heaving early peering at misty glass first seeing our face, again: bought?
perhaps because in your soiled camisole you read like Renfield slobbering up imagos
perhaps because in the reflective mosaic you glisten like Norman Bate
perhaps because, ach du, wenn du lange in einen Abgrund und l’abîme qui m’a regardé nu
perhaps because your emotive slumber manufactures hungry vampiric insomniac rationality
when we doze off we are again plotting against Ratched
our own inward eyes caught in maelstroms swirling in a collective cultural sea
I have done it again — You have too — swallowed Herr Doktor’s sloppy wet chemical kisses
licking the stained bitter residue: savouring it’s grasp
six by eight we reside in a mis-sold room of our own collecting each dying suns like stones
weighing us down as we drown upward and down in a void less vacuum
As rays dissipate through our slumber in paned sunsets for we hate to see the dying day
waking with Rigaut’s revolver-stained verse
as the gramophone encircles the gyre screeching a hay of music, desperate for the needle
in a labyrinthine cacophony
the concertmaster cannot hear the concert donc, le corps sans organes
you suddenly wonder why you are in the Charger at ninety the ego a sold postcard


at you and you resemble Shot Marilyns, a husk of some abstract parasite engulfing our brain
turning our living flesh to labour
I hate art, it lies and misconstrues, this is true except perhaps for Study for a Head
resembling some contorted Adam, a victim of Viktor Frankenstein no doubt
you digress as Bacon is fried, slathered in Ketchup: a thirty-million dollar sandwich
so I guess we wont be eating him again
the rhizome’s gone now — uprooted, stained, pulped, moved, and sold
by the benevolent farmer Capital for his salad menagerie
we consume his greens and sleep seeing everyone as Salvator Mundi
unsure whether it is us or them that are the fakes — a malign spectre haunting us from birth
fading into television, we sink OUR last shot, a far better medicine
than what Herr Doktor fed us
I gaze at the misty glass, hypnotized by your hurricanes penning these word
already written and trapped in hexagonal rooms, knowing its just you and me

We were cheated and I peer at the barman pulling dregs from the barrel, I whisper
I love you — your fingers fumble round that dirty barrel
approaching bottom, frustrated Feuerwerke spark off in your head, i lay by the station:
Desolation Row awaiting the train from Smith & Western, seein’ time blowin’ in the wind

Having a Coke with You

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
                                                                                                              I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together for the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
                               it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it

Frank O’Hara, 1960

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