GB ( / )

To Frank O'Hara For Don Allen

And now the splendor of your work is here
so complete, even
“a note on the type”
yes, total, even the colonphon

and now people you never met will meet
and talk about your work.
So witty, so sad,
so you: even your lines have

a broken nose. And in the crash
of certain chewed-up words
I see you again dive
into breakers! How you scared

us, no, dazzled us swimming
in an electric storm
which is what you were
more lives than a cat

dancing, you had a feline
grace, poised on the balls
of your feet ready
to dive and

all of it, your poems,
compressed into twenty years.
How you charmed, fumed,
blew smoke from your nostrils

like a race horse that
just won the race
steaming, eager to run
only you used words.

Stay up all night?
It is not your voice I hear
it is your words I see
Foam flecks and city girders

as once from a crosstown bus
I saw you waiting a cab in light rain
(drizzle) as once you
gave me a driving lesson and the radio

played The Merry Widow. It broke us up.
As once under the pie plate tree
(Paulonia)
it broke you up to read Sophie Tucker

- with the Times in a hammock -
had a gold tea service. “It’s way out
on the nut, ” she said, “for service,
but it was my dream.”

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