Sunday, 1 April 2012

Sunday Night is... Billie Holiday 'One for my Baby' / Frank O'Hara

The Day Lady Died

It is 12:20 in New York a Friday
three days after Bastille day, yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don’t know the people who will feed me
I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun
and have a hamburger and a malted and buy
an ugly new world writing to see what the poets
in Ghana are doing these days
                         I go on to the bank
and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)
doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her life
and in the golden griffin I get a little Verlaine
for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do
think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Lattimore or
Brendan Behan’s new play or Le Balcon or Les Nègres
of Genet, but I don’t, I stick with Verlaine
after practically going to sleep with quandariness
and for Mike I just stroll into the park lane
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue
and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theatre and
casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton
of Picayunes, and a new york post with her face on it
and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of
leaning on the john door in the 5 spot
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing.


BARBARA said...

Really enjoyed this, the prose poem plus Billie Holiday's song in the background... Great use of multimedia that arrived through the Facebook feed and rreally brings your very evocative words to life in my opinion...
Thankyou George..

Another time and place...Yes!!!

BARBARA said...

Oops! Frank O'Hara, American poet, member of the New York school of poetry....Oh well, now I know...So I guess it's not your words, but it's still a great combo here...
Thankyou for sharing...