sábado, 21 de noviembre de 2015

Oda de Frank Lima a los poetas de la Escuela de Nueva York



Incidents of Travel in Poetry



Happy Birthday Kenneth Koch/Feb 27

We went to all those places where they restore sadness and joy
and call it art. We were piloted by Auden who became
Unbearably acrimonious when we dropped off Senghor into the
steamy skies of his beloved West Africa. The termites and ants
were waiting for him to unearth the sun in Elissa. The clouds
were as cool as a dog’s nose pressed against our cheeks. I
notice your eggshell skin is as creamy as a lion’s armpit as we
cross the horizon on strands of Yeats’ silver hair. There is a
light coffee flame in his eyes guiding us like an old Irish house
cleaner holding a candle in a black and white English movie.
Yeats’ lips look like an angry Rimbaud illuminating poetry with
his youth and vigorous sunlight. He knew eternity would vanish
the sun at dusk. He caught it with a rainbow tied to his finger.
There was nothing left after that. We cross the equator
heading north following Emily Dickinson’s black bag containing
stems of her longer poems preserved in darkness and memory
like wild pearls thrown overboard to avoid capture by Spanish
pirates. The islands below float by like water hearts in a child’s
aquarium. We are candy wrappers being blown across the
waxed floors of poetry. We land on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Whitman’s past-port face is grinning at the nineteenth century
in the thorny arms of Gerard Manley Hopkins whose head was
set on fire by God’s little hands. The hands that circumcised
the world. Gertrude Stein is a match flaring on a young
woman’s pillow whose birthmarks have been stolen. We cross
the green Atlantic into World War One. We are met by Rilke
dressed in his Orpheus uniform wearing white sonnet gloves
that once belonged to a stone angel. Rilke offers us a glass of
amontillado made from Lorca’s private stock of gypsy tears.
The sherry is not quite as dry as Wallace Stevens’ lush mango
metaphors of familiar objects. Although Stevens’ poems are
fragrant, there is a lingering afterthought of Pound on the
tongue. Pound collected his misty feelings to make raindrops
into European and American poetry. Vagueness became as
sharp as a pencil. Our blue box is not allowed to attend
Apollinaire’s birthday party held by the august Académie
française on the Eiffel Tower. He is being awarded the “Golden
Frog Souffle Award” and a one-way ticket to the Greek and
Roman past to spend afternoons with Williams filling wheel-
barrows with the twentieth century. Both Apollinaire and
Williams could hail a cab on Madison Avenue in any country.
After the bash we toured Paris and London with D.H. Lawrence
who kept stopping to relieve himself of the great mysteries of
life whenever we went by a Bavarian gentian plant. He claimed
he was writing poetry for his new book: Acts of Attention for
Love Poems. Eliot was rebuilding London when we left. It
reminded him of Detroit or Cincinnati or Saint Louis. He was
removing despair from the weather. He thought it affected
people’s minds and did not want to overload Mayakovsky’s
emptiness with old English churches that pray for water heaters
and cloudless nights. Mayakovsky, on the other hand, insisted
there were bugs in Russia who could write poetry just as
interestingly as Eliot. The Russian winter is elegant cruelty
compared with the English milk-toast weather: “A man without
a cloud in his trousers is not a man.” Eliot thought this was the
most boring statement he had ever heard. Although
Cummings’ poems appear unintentional on the surface, he did
not act like a drunken amputee at the dinner table and always
said pleasant things that came out of nowhere. His
conversation was experimental but logical and he investigated
words, mixing them on paper with a pencil. Cummings was all
etcetera after a few drinks. We move the sun to South
America. Neruda had become an organic poet writing about
the fulcra of yes and no. He wasn’t home when we got there,
so we went over to Allen’s for some microbiotic poetry. As
usual, Allen was rolling incense and howling at America. Allen
was always mystical and beautiful when he walked on the
Lower East Side. When he stepped into the old Jewish
pavement, he mystified the habitués. David Shapiro, the Djinn
of subatomic poetry, asked Allen what was the future of poetry
in the borough of Queens? Allen placed the palm of his right
hand on David’s glistening forehead and said: “David, don’t you
know? The future has no future. It is very old and doesn’t
worry about its future anymore, because it has so little left of
it.” Allen made suicide exhilarating when he wrote Kaddish.
Finally, suicide could talk about the pain of living with
unbearable beauty. Beauty was Frank O’Hara talking to Second
Avenue with a diamond in his head. We were the personal
details in Frank’s harem of private lives when LeRoi insisted on
becoming black, abandoning us for a noble cause, according to
Frank, who loved Imamu Amiri Baraka. We were the details in
Frank’s poems and living one’s life was a detail in Frank’s life.
John Ashbery arrived from Paris on a plane made of expensive
suits, shirts, and ties. Like his poems, he was sparkling and
squeaky clean, dressed in elegant language. He is the
daydream that had become a poet. His subject is to have no
subject. Perhaps a casual reference to someone special. He is
a poet of the less obvious in life: the sestina made of clouds.
We crossed the equator on our way to a cocktail party for Gary
Snyder. There is no other life for his outdoor poems,
hitchhiking on hands-on love. Gary seems to have time to
write poems about the notes in his life. Kenneth, on the other
hand, has a paper cup full of wonderful poems. He can write a
poem about a cathedral living in a paper cup. Kenneth travels
everywhere with his paper cup. At a certain time of day,
Kenneth finds room in his paper cup for perfect days and
perfect moments:
Perfect moments when Frank spoke to us.
Perfect moments when Allen spoke to us.
And they sang to us
with human wings
upon which we sleep.


Frank Lima (1939-2013), protégé de Frank O’Hara, Kenneth Koch y Allen Ginsberg, puede considerarse miembro de la segunda generación de poetas de la Escuela de Nueva York. De padre mexicano y madre puertoriqueña, nació en el Spanish Harlem, donde tuvo una infancia difícil y no exenta de violencia. Descubrió la poesía durante su estancia en un centro de drogadicción para menores, bajo la tutela del pintor Sherman Drezler, quien le presentó a sus amigos poetas. Se codeó con todo el mundo, desde Edwin Denby y Joe Brainard hasta Jasper Johns y los de Kooning. Lima apareció en las antologías de la Escuela de Nueva York y publicó dos colecciones de poesía. A pesar de los lazos evidentes, Lima se resistió a identificarse con el movimiento neoyorquino: «No alineo mi estilo de vida y mi trabajo con la segunda generación de la Escuela de Nueva York», le dijo una vez a Guillermo Parra. «No quiero ser un poeta “Latino”… el Arte es mucho más que eso. Mi poesía es mucho más que eso». A finales de los años setenta Lima abandonó el mundo de la lírica para dedicarse a su carrera como chef, y aunque raramente publicó y su trabajo dejó de estar en circulación, continuó escribiendo un poema cada día hasta su muerte. 

sábado, 14 de noviembre de 2015

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets: Charles Bernstein

L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E, 1980, p. 195

Afterword

What's money worth? Not a whole lot if
You come up a few bits short & come
Away empty handed. If that was the case
What would you have to say then? At least
The motorperson knows how to blow a whistle.
At least in the winter it's not summer
(God damn mosquitoes & horseflies). What did
The Mandela say to the Mandela? BOY
HITS IGLOO. Snowed motion, i.e., frosted or
Laminated. To be such a bitter pill
& have nothing wrong. Don't laugh
It really hurted. If you put on
My shirt then what shirt am I
Going to wear? The kind of people
Wear plaid Bermuda shorts. The kind of
People that judge people who wear
Plaid Bermuda shorts. The kind of
Day this has been (I think I am
Falling into a tunnel of love but
Forget to get on). For a long time I'd
Say twirl when I meant 'spin'. Have you
Heard the one about the fly & the
Paper? The fly bottle could not found
The fly. The Mother Bear could not
Find the rest of the story. Harry has his
Troubles too but these are not interesting enough
To bear replay. "That's a very
Suspicious-looking baby." "It's hard
Not to be a baby." "But
Are there really babies or just baby-
Behavior?" ─For the purpose
Of your request I'm including this
Sentence about the influence of John
Ashbery. While the packet
Boat sunk I can still imagine I am
Crawling into it; at the same time the ice
Is too thin to
Pretend to fall through.
Meanwhile, the water is wetter in the
Rich man's pond but doesn't taste
As good. ─Hey wait a minute!
That's a bit too close, try to stay
Back at least 10 inches. So what
If the margins don't
Turn out right? Whadda you mean you're
Going to the next poem? This is the best
Part! Oh, I'm sorry, I guess I misunderstood
You. ─But nobody seems to want to hear
About the pain we men feel
Having our prerogatives questioned.
A bunch of darn-dash pragmatists
With justice on their side (for all
The good that will do them). Don't
Frame me or I'll bust you in the
Doldrums. ─Now let's
Switch the subject & try to find
Out what's on your mind. Voyage of life
Getting you down? Felt better when things
Were really rocky & now there's smooth
Sailing but it's lost its meaning? I'm a
Good listener & only mildly demanding:
There's just the one-time fee (mostly
For paper & printing & distribution
Costs) & unlimited returns. I'm bubbling over
With empathy & good advice & I'm not
Afraid to tell you where I think you've
Gone wrong. Let's face it─
From the word go you've
Resented me─resented my being finished
In the face of your─what?─continuing
On? But I don't mean to be complete
If that makes you feel distant; still
As I say, I
Do want some distance. She was a
Sort of Betsy Ross figure but without the
Accoutrements─no washer/dryer, just the one
TV. I said to her─What can you expect
From a poem?─evidently a lot less than
She did. A poem bleeds
Metaphorically, just like I do. I can
No more breathe than face
The music. But if the first
Banana smells a rat look out for
Lost leader (tossed reader). ─"I
Don't think I'm ever
Going home." ─ I don't think
I've ever been home. We are looking for
Cheerful, enthusiastic self-starters
With solid backgrounds in detailed
Wails. The point
Not to change history but to change
Events. For instance, you
Can change in the car, change on the
Beach, or use a changing room
At the beach. Don't change me
& I won't change a hair on your
Chinny chin chin. Or let me
Put it this way: You can call
Me anything you want to but give me
The right change. That's right: I
Haven't changed, you have. It's
Not the time it's the beer. I'm in
A rush, don't forget to send a
Check. Not a con
just a dodge. Not a dodge a Lincoln-
Mercury. Take me to your leader. Take me
To the 5 & Dime I've got to go.
Faith under leisure: as difficult as
Keeping a hat in a hurricane
Or an appointment with an erasure.
One Mandela hit the other Mandela in the nose.
What color blood came out?
R - E - D spells red.
Are you people? You're about the nicest people
I know & I know some pretty unpleasant
Characters.

(«The Influence of Kinship Patterns upon Perception of an Ambiguous Stimulus», Verse, 1991)