Ave Maria

August 2, 2007 at 1:41 pm 2 comments

Frank O’Hara

Listen

Mothers of America
let your kids go to the movies
get them out of the house so they won’t
know what you’re up to
it’s true that fresh air is good for the body
but what about the soul
that grows in darkness, embossed by
silvery images
and when you grow old as grow old you
must
they won’t hate you
they won’t criticize you they won’t know
they’ll be in some glamorous
country
they first saw on a Saturday afternoon or
playing hookey
they may even be grateful to you
for their first sexual experience
which only cost you a quarter
and didn’t upset the peaceful
home
they will know where candy bars come
from
and gratuitous bags of popcorn
as gratuitous as leaving the movie before
it’s over
with a pleasant stranger whose apartment
is in the Heaven on
Earth Bldg
near the Williamsburg Bridge
oh mothers you will have made
the little
tykes
so happy because if nobody does pick
them up in the movies
they won’t know the difference
and if somebody does it’ll be
sheer gravy
and they’ll have been truly entertained
either way
instead of hanging around the yard
or up in their room hating you
prematurely since you won’t have done
anything horribly mean
yet
except keeping them from life’s darker joys
it’s unforgivable the latter
so don’t blame me if you won’t take this
advice
and the family breaks up
and your children grow old and blind in
front of a TV set
seeing
movies you wouldn’t let them see when
they were young

My thanks to Space Bar for reminding me of this delightful poem. It’s the ultimate ode to escapism, and who better than Frank O’Hara to pen it?

[falstaff]

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Entry filed under: English, Falstaff, Frank O'Hara, Poems about Movies. Tags: .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. botheration  |  August 3, 2007 at 1:30 am

    So is that Frank O’Hara reciting it?

    It’ a ripper, either way.

    My favourite O’Hara:

    Lana Turner has collapsed!
    I was trotting along and suddenly
    it started raining and snowing
    and you said it was hailing
    but hailing hits you on the head
    hard so it was really snowing and
    raining and I was in such a hurry
    to meet you but the traffic
    was acting exactly like the sky
    and suddenly I see a headline
    LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
    there is no snow in Hollywood
    there is no rain in California
    I have been to lots of parties
    and acted perfectly disgraceful
    but I never actually collapsed
    oh Lana Turner we love you get up

    Reply
  • 2. botheration  |  August 3, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Oh, sorry, dumb question about the reading. I jumped here straight from my blog, and didnae see the larger picture, which has now become blindingly obvious.

    Reply

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