Thursday, November 19, 2009

Madison Avenue Portal Stopped Realities

Last night was a pure poetry night. It ended with Ted Greenwald and Kit Robinson tag-team reading at the Poetry Project. This is a truly inspiring and fun-filled barrage of verbiage, and the turn-taking insured the voice was always fresh. Earlier, it had been Hettie Jones and Tony Towle, hosted by Charles North at the Schimmel Theater at Pace University, in a night of poetry and reminiscences of Frank O'Hara. It was the perfect prelude to a night of language. Tony commented he thinks it's a sin "Second Avenue" is not in the new Selected and recommended people look up the old Selected with its terrific Larry Rivers portrait of the nude O'Hara on the cover. Hettie agreed and reminded us that she and LeRoi Jones had first published "Second Avenue" as a chapbook. Tony then mentioned the episode of Mad Men that includes a Frank O'Hara poem. I had never seen Mad Men, though I did read the January Jones article in GQ. I had to look up the clip. I think it's genius. Here's my comment on YouTube: "I love this reading of Frank O'Hara's poem — it brings out the darker, more depressive quality that underpins the buoyant optimism most people comment on in his work. It is the final section of the final poem in his first book. The book is MEDITATIONS IN AN EMERGENCY, and the poem is 'Mayakovsky.'" Here's the clip: Frank O'Hara on Mad Men I think Frank would have loved it too.

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