Thursday, April 2, 2009

National Poetry Month: Homosexuality

According to his lovers, Frank loved to talk on the phone. Always chattering away about beauty, art, love, and gossip. Lots of it.

Homosexuality by Frank O'Hara (gay poet) is fab on many levels. Yes it is about gay cruising, but the line "it is the law of my own voice I shall investigate" is true for any trans person as it is for any gay person as it is for any straight person. And the end is true for be wanted

Frank O'Hara "Homosexuality"

So we are taking off our masks, are we, and keeping
our mouths shut? as if we'd been pierced by a glance!

The song of an old cow is not more full of judgment
than the vapors which escape one's soul when one is sick;

so I pull the shadows around me like a puff
and crinkle my eyes as if at the most exquisite moment

of a very long opera, and then we are off!
without reproach and without hope that our delicate feet

will touch the earth again, let alone "very soon."
It is the law of my own voice I shall investigate.

I start like ice, my finger to my ear, my ear
to my heart, that proud cur at the garbage can

in the rain. It's wonderful to admire oneself
with complete candor, tallying up the merits of each

of the latrines. 14th Street is drunken and credulous,
53 rd tries to tremble but is too at rest. The good

love a park and the inept a railway station,
and there are the divine ones who drag themselves up

and down the lengthening shadow of an Abyssinian head
in the dust, trailing their long elegant heels of hot air

crying to confuse the brave "It's a summer day,
and I want to be wanted more than anything else in the world."

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