top of page

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 the bargins in the wristwatches.

There are cats playing in the saw dust.

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 chorous 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, e’ 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 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.

Frank O’Hara (1926 – 1966)

That’s life in the big city.  Be FULL of life. 



1 view0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page