of Maine


Frank O’Hara
August 18, 2008, 1:22 pm
Filed under: Excerpts, Words | Tags: , , , ,

I’m completely blissed out from attending (and co-DJing) the most beautiful wedding. I nearly choked trying not to bawl audibly. After the ceremony – punctuated precisely by thunder – the skies opened through an extended cocktail hour. Dinner brought a rainbow. Dessert brought a full moon. Then Bam Bam (my DJ duo) brought the heat.

So we’re basking more than thinking this morning. I can’t stop listening to two songs I’ve put on this muxtape for you. They’re the two slow songs we played during our dance party. Both – Sam Cooke’s “Mean Old World” and Joe Tex’s “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)” – should be unbearably sad but they hit these ears like acts of salvation. Though they teem with tragedy, they radiate hope. I think that’s called humanity.

I have, thus far, failed in any endeavor to find a quote to sort of surreptitiously dedicate to the happy couple, so in keeping with the spirit of those songs, here’s a Frank O’Hara poem that doesn’t represent them but I’m sure they’ll/you’ll appreciate. (Don’t expect more poetry here, and blame the season 2 premiere of Mad Men for it.)

“To the Harbormaster”

I wanted to be sure to reach you;
Though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings. I am always tying up
and then deciding to depart. In storms and
at sunset, with the metallic coils of the tide
around my fathomless arms, I am unable
to understand the forms of my vanity
or I am hard alee with my Polish rudder
in my hand and the sun sinking. To
you I offer my hull and the tattered cordage
of my will. The terrible channels where
the wind drives me against the brown lips
of the reeds are not all behind me. Yet
I trust the sanity of my vessel; and
if it sinks, it may well be in answer
to the reasoning of the eternal voices,
the waves which have kept me from reaching you.

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1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Aw, C. I’m just seeing this as I land slowly, slowly back to earth. You’re a gift, friend.

Hard alee with my Swedish rudder,

J.

Comment by Bridal Jones




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