Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Aimless Reading: The O's, Part 4.1 (Frank O'Hara)

Gooch, Brad
City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara


Purchased at St. Mark's Books, probably in 1996 or so.

Most of the time when I write these blog entries, I quickly get into a groove and finish the whole entry in less than thirty minutes. I revise only to make sure the sentences are coherent and the typos kept to a minimum. Perhaps having a week off has me more self-conscious about the writing than I usually am as I try to cram an entry in before I head to work in the morning.

Yesterday, I began to write another entry about my trip to Ireland with my father and ended up getting nowhere. I found myself revising and editing as if I were writing a poem or something -- I kept changing the order of the sentences and paragraphs, vainly trying to find the right combination. After a frustrating hour or so, I decided to leave it alone for a while. I promptly forgot about it, and when I shut down the computer for the day I accidentally deleted it. Call it a mercy killing.

I think I was struggling with the fact that I have told many of these stories about my father to myself and others so many times that they have become crystallized into convenient anecdotes to entertain in conversation. I was trying to re-examine this information, while retaining the anecdotal form. It didn't work. I'll leave it alone for now and see if I can't find something else to write about. I have plenty to say about Frank O'Hara and have at least four more books in that section. After that comes Olson, which will take a good month or so, with a lot of imagination to keep it fresh!

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