Frank O’Hara (1926-1966)
I’ve had many things to say about Frank O’Hara over the years. He’s my muse, the reason I write poetry, and the person I return to whenever I feel lost. He’s almost become the saint I pray to. I love the life Frank O’Hara lived, and the openness with which he lived it. I’ve never been so authentic as he seemed to be throughout his entire life. As I approach the age he was when he died, I can’t help comparing myself to him. That’s not terribly fair to me, but it’s interesting to see how little I seem to have done in comparison. I used to be very protective of Frank O’Hara. I didn’t want to hear negative things about him, and would be irritated when he was used out of context (like referring to him as a part of the Beat Movement), but I’ve eased up on that a little. I think it just matches how I’ve eased up on everything. I used to have more opinions on people, on books, on politics, on almost everything.
I’m not sure I should stay so laid back about things. Good people can see how things are crumbling around us. Hate and oppression are on the rise, and it takes staying angry to make sure we can get our country back.
In the meantime, I have O’Hara’s writings to read. And I have his example to help inform the way one should live. It’s actually been a little while since I re-read his poetry, and I think it’s time to pick some up and immerse myself again.