Lunch Poems

If you’re a big fan of New York, or mid-sixties pop culture, the O’Hara poems collected in Lunch Poems are indispensable.  If not, there is less reason to jump on a copy.  Most of Lunch Poems are meandering and groundless almost to the point of being schizophrenic.  I do not have to make perfect sense out of a poem to enjoy it, but it helps if it is not strings of obtuse referances and bizarre corollaries.  Every so often O’Hara figures out what he’s doing and delivers a real genuine weighty thought:

“I wonder if one person out of the 8,000,000 is

thinking of me as I shake hands with LeRoi

and buy a strap for my wristwatch and go

back to work happy at the thought possibly so” (from Personal Poem)

or

“do I really want a son

to carry on my idiocy past the Horned Gates

poor kid                  a staggering load” (from Cornkind)

These are jewels lost in the flood, however, and there are far far too few of these and far too many instances of what O’Hara was thinking this morning when he ordered a ham-on-rye, which rarely get more interesting than the latest news item or his plans for the day.

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1 Comment

  1. thats for sure, brother


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