Poem in Your Pocket Day: How to Get There, Frank O’Hara

A visit to the homepage of my old alma-mater, findingdulcinea.com, has reminded me that today is “Poem in Your Pocket Day.”

I picked, “How to Get There, ” by Frank O’Hara

White the October air, no snow, easy to breathe
beneath the sky, lies, lies everywhere writhing and


clutching and tangling, it is not easy to breathe
lies building their tendrils into dim figures
who disappear down corridors in west-side apartments
into childhood’s proof of being wanted, not

abandoned, kidnapped

betrayal staving off loneliness, I see the fog lunge in
and hide it

where are you?
here I am on the sidewalk

under the moonlike lamplight thinking how

precious moss is

so unique and greenly crushable if you can find it
on the north side of the tree where the fog binds you
and then, tearing apart into soft white lies,

spreads its disease

through the primal night of an everlasting winter
which nevertheless has heat in tubes, west-side and


and its intricate individual pathways of white


by the ringing of telephone bells beside which

someone sits in

silence denying their own number, never given out!


like the sound of troika bells rushing past suffering
in the first storm, it is snowing now,

it is already too late

the snow will go away, but nobody will be there

police cordons for lying political dignitaries ringing too
the world becomes a jangle

from the index finger

to the vast empty houses filled with people,

their echoes

of lies and the tendrils of fog trailing softly around

their throats

now the phone can be answered, nobody calling,

only an echo

all can confess to be home and waiting, all is the same
and we drift into the clear sky enthralled

by our disappointment
never to be alone again
never to be loved

sailing through space: didn’t I have you once for my
West Side?
for a couple of hours, but I am not that person


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