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O’HARA, Frank


Autobiographia Literaria

When I was a child
I played by myself in a
corner of the schoolyard
all alone.

I hated dolls and I
hated games, animals were
not friendly and birds
flew away.

If anyone was looking
for me I hid behind a
tree and cried out "I am
an orphan."

And here I am, the
center of all beauty!
writing these poems!
Imagine!


A STEP AWAY FROM THEM

It's my lunch hour, so I go

for a walk among the hum-colored

cabs. First, down the sidewalk

where laborers feed their dirty

glistening torsos sandwiches

and Coca-Cola, with yellow helmets

on. They protect them from falling

bricks, I guess. Then onto the

avenue where skirts are flipping

above heels and blow up over

grates. The sun is hot, but the

cabs stir up the air. I look

at bargains in wristwatches. There

are cats playing in sawdust.

On

to Times Square, where the sign

blows smoke over my head, and higher

the waterfall pours lightly. A

Negro stands in a doorway with a

toothpick, languorously agitating.

A blonde chorus girl clicks: he

smiles and rubs his chin. Everything

suddenly honks: it is 12:40 of

a Thursday.

Neon in daylight is a

great pleasure, as Edwin Denby would

write, as are light bulbs in daylight.

I stop for a cheeseburger at JULIET'S

CORNER. Giulietta Masina, wife of

Federico Fellini, è bell' attrice .

And chocolate malted. A lady in

foxes on such a day puts her poodle

in a cab.

There are several Puerto

Ricans on the avenue today, which

makes it beautiful and warm. First

Bunny died, then John Latouche,

then Jackson Pollock. But is the

earth as full as life was full, of them?

And one has eaten and one walks,

past the magazines with nudes

and the posters for BULLFIGHT and

the Manhattan Storage Warehouse,

which they'll soon tear down. I

used to think they had the Armory

Show there.

A glass of papaya juice

and back to work. My heart is in my

pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.