Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yesterday and Today

Today is July 24. On Sunday, July 24, 1966, the poet Frank O'Hara was struck by a dune buggy while hanging out on Fire Island, and died the next day.  For me, the summer of 1966 occurred between the 6th and 7th grades, and it is quite likely that I was on Fire Island that Sunday spending the day at the beach with my family. 

In his essay Personism: A Manifesto (published in Leroi Jones' Yugen magazine in 1961), O'Hara wrote, "I don't ... like rhythm, assonance, all that stuff. You just go on your nerve. If someone's chasing you down the street with a knife you just run, you don't turn around and shout, 'Give it up! I was a track star for Mineola Prep'." 

Also, I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, but it was the second anniversary of Amy Winehouse's death.

Finally, and it may not seem related at first, but the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died on November 9, 1953. I was born on July 25, 1954 (tomorrow's my birthday), so I was conceived sometime in November 1953.  I don't believe in reincarnation as the transmigration of wandering souls, but it is intriguing to wonder if I had somehow entered into the newly available karmic space left by Thomas' departure.

1 comment:

misslesley said...

Then I studied your poetry in the Fall of 1973, half a world away. Do not go gentle into that good night.