Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Portraits of Frank O’Hara

June 18, 2019

(Mostly about poetry and art, poets and artists, with some raunchy moments on men’s bodies and mansex, so kids and the sexually modest should steer clear, but not much about language, or for that matter music or plants or food — you can’t always get you want, but if you’re Frank O’Hara, you can probably get what you need.)

In the Village Voice on June 1st, a piece by by Peter Schjeldahl,”Frank O’Hara: He Made Things and People Sacred”, with the summary subhead:

In 15 years as a poet, playwright, critic, curator, and universal energy source in the lives of the few hundred most creative people in America, Frank O’Hara had rendered that world wholly unprepared to tolerate his passing [in a freak accident on the beach at Fire Island on 8/11/66, at the age of 40].

Schjeldahl’s appreciation will also let me cash in the promissory note in the Alice Neel section of my 6/6/19 posting “What makes the world go ’round?”:

The AZBlogX posting [of 6/6/19, “On the art patrol: Alice Neel, Larry Rivers”] has (in #2 there) a famously scandalous Larry Rivers painting of a naked O’Hara with a hard-on and workman’s boots and nothing else; I’ll get to it in a separate posting on O’Hara. Here, Neel’s takes on O’Hara, in two paintings from 1960 [a side view and a front view, both entirely SFW; with a quote from an O’Hara poem: “I was made in the image of a sissy / truck-driver”]

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What makes the world go round?

June 6, 2019

Today’s Zippy starts with Zippy and Griffy at Universal Studios Hollywood, reflecting on what is worthwhile in our lives:

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Griffy inventories some of his passions, in high culture and popular culture (including sports and food):

Beethoven, Alice Neel, Miles Davis, Tiger Woods, Ernie Bushmiller (the Nancy cartoonist), tuna melt

And Zippy, being a cartoon character,  follows with a catalogue of his own cartoon favorites:

Gerald McBoing Boing, Baby Huey, Yosemite Sam, Popeye the Sailor Man

Lots of stuff in these lists, but most of it is either in the cultural commons or treated in previous postings on this blog. The standout exception is the uncompromising portrait painter Alice Neel. She will lead us to a number of her subjects: the art critics Gregory Battcock and David Bourdon; the Greenwich Village eccentric Joe Gould; and the poet Frank O’Hara. It will end in naked men and some flagrant mansex, but I’ll warn you when this material looms.

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The hand that cradles the tree

May 3, 2019

… and the monster that guides the elderly. Both pieces of outdoor art in Switzerland, the first in the town of Glarus (in my ancestral canton of Glarus), the second in the city of Zürich.


(#1) The Caring Hand in Glarus

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A Ceci disavowal

April 24, 2019

From Jeff Bowles on Facebook on the 12th, this Magritte-based composition:

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Apparently a Magrittean disavowal (there’s a Page on such disavowals here), playing on Magritte’s wry late 1920s painting La Trahison des images (The Betrayal / Treachery of Images which shows a pipe, with the painting labeling itself Ceci n’est pas une pipe ‘This is not a pipe’. Here we get Louis Flint Ceci, on the left, objecting in astonishment that what’s on the right is not (a) Ceci; instead, it’s (a) Davisson.

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News for penises: notes on phallophilia

February 20, 2019

(This posting will go lots of places, some of which — a Greek military re-enactors’ group in Melbourne — you’ll find astonishing, but there’s no denying that, as the title suggests, it’s penis-dense. Without actually depicting them — those images are in my posting this morning on AZBlogX, “Gay Heart Throbs” — but still. However, without penises strewn along the road every few feet, there’s no getting to the fun stuff (like allusions to Miss Anne Elk and to Sonnets from the Portuguese). So use your judgment.)

Phallophilia I: self-regard. A recent Daily Jocks ad (for Kasper Military shorts from the Helsinki Athletica company) showing a hunky model gazing fixedly down at his bulging crotch, with a title and a caption supplied by me:


(#1) On contemplating his penis

Could I just say here for one moment that
I have a new theory about the penis?
Yes, well you may well ask, what is my theory.
And well you may. Yes my word you may well
Ask what it is, this theory of mine.

Well, this theory that I have — which is mine —
This theory which belongs to me is as follows.
Ahem. Ahem. This is how it goes.
Ahem. The next thing that I am about to say
Is my theory. Ahem. Ready?

My theory is along the following lines.
All penises are round at one end,
Tubular in the middle, and then
Anchored in hair at the far end.

That is the theory that I have
And which is mine, and
What it is too.

— excerpts from an interview with noted penis scholar Gay H. Throbs, DPhS. (Doctor of Phallological Science)

On the nose, GHT!

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Captain of our fairy band

February 13, 2019

(Hot guys in very skimpy underwear, suggestive verse, but generally playful and not actually X-rated. Use your judgment.)

Today’s  Daily Jocks sale ad, for Marco Marco Valentine’s Day homowear, with a caption in two parts, one raunchy doggerel, one Puckish:

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Lincoln Darwin Valentine
Is a cutup friend of mine
Loves the boys with all his heart
Loves them hard in every part

And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover’s fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!

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A camelid from darkest Peru

January 29, 2019

A souvenir from Juan Gomez, who visited Peru (Cuzco, Machu Picchu) with his family for the New Year’s holiday: a little stuffed llama I’ve named Glama Grrl (he’s seen here perched high in the spathyphyllum forest on my worktable):

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The Peruvian camelid has been exploited for all sorts of word play purposes, perhaps most famously in the light verse of Ogden Nash, but also in joking that turns on the fact that the element llam– has (at least) three separate sources in Spanish (referring to the camelid, to fire or flames, and to calling (out)). Glama Grrl will then lead us to the original traveler from darkest Peru, Paddington Bear.

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The poetry corner

January 19, 2019

Into the lull between Thesaurus Day (the 18th) and Penguin Awareness Day (the 20th), I thrust two bits of poetry taking off from images on Facebook: Make Big Money (brought to me by Kyle Wohlmut) and The Long Room, Trinity College, Dublin (brought to me by Joelle Stepien Bailard):

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Revisiting 22: now with berries and cherries

November 19, 2018

My 10/9/18 posting “Fruit bars” featured my mother-in-law Monique’s recipe for apricot bars / squares/ crisp cookies. Dried apricots made into a chewy filling for cookies with crunchy top and bottom layers, cut into squares.

At the time, Kim Darnell (who’s done all the actual work in this enterprise) and I contemplated other dried fruits as a basis: figs, dates, prunes, mangos, etc. We have so far achieved: apricots, figs, and dried cherries and mixed berries, the last baked yesterday.

I’ve been moved to verse, of a sort, but nothing original — instead, a parody of a bit of Lewis Carroll’s epic nonsense verse “The Hunting of the Snark” (published in 1876, with grotesque illustrations by Henry Holiday: full text available here).

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Fables of the trees

October 15, 2018

It began with this poignant texty on Facebook:

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Voting as part of the story marks this as a recent version, and the shrinking forest (possibly an allusion to deforestation) might be recent as well. But the main idea — that the trees accepted the axe because its handle was wood and they thought it was one of them — feels antique, fabulesque. And so it is.

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