………………… Beauty was Frank O’Hara talking to Second
Avenue with a diamond in his head. We were the personal
details in Frank’s harem of private lives when LeRoi insisted on
becoming black, abandoning us for a noble cause, according to
Frank, who loved Imamu Amiri Baraka. We were the details in
Frank’s poems and living one’s life was a detail in Frank’s life.
John Ashbery arrived from Paris on a plane made of expensive
suits, shirts, and ties. Like his poems, he was sparkling and
squeaky clean, dressed in elegant language. He is the
daydream that had become a poet. His subject is to have no
subject. Perhaps a casual reference to someone special. He is
a poet of the less obvious in life: the sestina made of clouds.
We crossed the equator on our way to a cocktail party for Gary
Snyder. There is no other life for his outdoor poems,
hitchhiking on hands-on love. Gary seems to have time to
write poems about the notes in his life. Kenneth, on the other
hand, has a paper cup full of wonderful poems. He can write a
poem about a cathedral living in a paper cup. Kenneth travels
everywhere with his paper cup. At a certain time of day,
Kenneth finds room in his paper cup for perfect days and
Perfect moments when Frank spoke to us.
Perfect moments when Allen spoke to us.
And they sang to us
with human wings
upon which we sleep.
from “Incidents of Travel in Poetry” by Frank Lima
(read the full poem here)