Frank O'Hara - John Button Birthday lyrics
Sentiments are nice, "The Lonely Crowd,"
a rift in the clouds appears above the purple,
you find a birthday greeting card with violets
which says "a perfect friend" and means
"I love you" but the customer is forced to be
shy. It says less, as all things must.
grease sticks to the red ribs shaped like a
sea shell, grease, light and rosy that smells of
sandalwood: it's memory! I remember JA
staggering over to me in the San Remo and murmuring
"I've met someone marvelous!" That's friendship
for you, and the sentiment of introduction.
And now that I have finished dinner I can continue.
What is it that attracts one to one? Mystery?
I think of you in PAris with a red beard, a
theological student; in London talking to a friend
who lunched with Dowager Queen MAry and offered
her his last cigarette; in Los Angeles shopping
at the Supermarket; on Mount Shasta, looking ...
above all on Mount Shasta in your unknown youth
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And then the way you straighten
people out. How ambitious you are! And that you're
a painter is a great satisfaction, too. You know how
I feel about painters. I sometimes think poetry
Now I have taken down the underwear
I washed last night from the various light fixtures
and can proceed.
And the lift of our experiences
together, which seem to me legendary. The long subways
to our old neighborhood the near East 49th and 53rd
and before them the laughing in bars till we cried,
and the crying in movies till we laughed, the tenting
tonight on the old camp grounds! how beautiful it is
to visit someone for instant coffee! and you visiting
Cambridge, Ma**achusetts, talking for two weeks worth
in hours, and watching Maria Tallchief in the Public
Gardens while the swan-boats slumbered. And now,
not that I'm interrupting again, I mean your now,
you are 82 and i am 03. and in 1984 I trust we'll still
be high together. I'll say "Let's go to a bar"
and you'll say "Let's go to a movie" and we'll go to both;
like two old Chinese drunkards arguing about their
favorite mountain and the million reasons for them both.