Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mall-Run: For Frank O'Hara*

Sunday Afternoon 12:21 all's fogged up
Inside the bus the men and women you will never find on Oprah
Wait for the final wheezing stop.
As corny as that first Godzilla we breathe furious white smoke
And rush Into the made in china warmth of PROVIDENCE PLACE
like it's the thanksgiving sale
The president
Or a jumper off the Newport bridge.

Speakers and mp3 players on sale: the only
Things sold that aint nano are the milk jugs down at 7/11.
Maya and I walk on, fists buried deep in pockets.
But where I really want to be is outside in
All that glorious slushy first real snow of Providence.

I'm not sure who's bigger today; Sponge bob,
Or the shot glass special at CRATE & BARREL.

"But where I really want to be is outside in
All that glorious slushy"—Hold up, Jack she tells me
As we scramble out of the arms of the last salesgirl
At VICTORIA'S SECRET. 2:55pm and it feels like daylight saving
And American Idol reruns. We need out.
I hold the door
For a guy in an Ozzfest hoodie. We exit.
3:05 now: we miss one bus so there's time for
Any god damned beautiful adventure in the world.
The skaters out in KENNEDY PLAZA look mournful,
Like they just found out Disney paid off the senator
To keep them forever circling to Brenda Lee:
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree.

We stand outside the 7/11 and smoke gloveless
Shivering. Holding a pint of 2% and saying THIS finally,
Aint just Bristol. There's the sign to New York, all snowed over,
We could hitch a ride, find an Uno’s and—
Yeah sure I have a lighter, and the guy says thank you and we're all right.
Screw NYC. This tight-sphinctered quaffing cheap coffee
And kids huggin and kissin only coz its this cold
Is where it's all at.
And Tim Allen in a fake beard can't find us here.

I'm so happy I want to make my third snowball of December,
But before I can ask Martha Stewart for ribbon and some tape
The 60 steams, waiting—she knows where we have to go.


This poem was written on the first snow-day, here in rhode island. Maya and I went to the mall, and this be the account of that day. Statutory warning: some bits fictionalized. But of course ;)

*Frank O'Hara is one of the poets we've covered in class this semester: just covered, in fact. Last poet before the final paper, good lord. Our assignment was to write a "I do this/I do that" poem, the kind he is known for. O'Hara used everyday images and the idiom he knew, of the time he lived in yankville. I tried doing the same, except using the images and idiom of today.

Two of my favourites of his are A step away from them and the day lady died. Here's more of his stuff online.