Mr. O’Hara would have turned 85 today if it wasn’t for that dune buggy accident.
He’s still my most consistently favourite American poet.
I wondered if he’d gotten old whether his poems would have slowed down. That pace pace pace is a reason why I love him.
And pure joy. Simply joy at the world that spills into the text.
I am glad O’Hara was a poet not a painter.
But I am sad that I was not alive when you were alive, because even though I hate coke, I would’ve like to have a coke with you.
Here is a poem of his that I carry around with me:
Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
You really are beautiful! Pearls,
harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
the stuff they’ve always talked about
still makes a poem a surprise!
These things are with us every day
even on beachheads and biers. They
do have meaning. They’re strong as rocks.