Sunday, June 9, 2013

By what can one be taught

 What causes me most
 shame is always the
 same thing, casual-
 ness of expectation.

 I am taught by love
 but it is mine, for
 the treasures of my

                  .. Her eyes
        in their wilderness gather fishes,
        dreaming salmon leap over cheekbones
        into the hot spring of her blood
        and her lips, wet with the flavor
        and the subtle scales, glitter
        against the horizon ..

Frank O'Hara
Poems Retrieved
  A Greek Girl at Riis Beach
Donald Allen, editor
City Lights, 2013©

Photo, Laurent
Leica M-3, 90mm Elmarit f/2.8
1/100 sec at f/4.0
Morning open shade
Kodak Ektar Pan


  1. You have published many posts over these two plus years....this is easily my favorite. I am partial to at least one of them, but I couldn't imagine a better coupling of verse and woman. Thanks for taking your time. Thanks for giving it your time. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I was reluctant to publish your kind remarks, for fear of implicating the taste of an innocent reader. Mr O'Hara's poem only lately came into my study, not knowing that Donald Allen's justly awarded earlier edition had been expanded. I have frequently cited him, and always with serious indebtedness. As it happens, I regard this impromptu portrait as one of the most fortunate photographs I have ever made, but I am also not unacquainted with its subject, whose consent to publish the likeness, and without editorial constraint, enabled also a gift to the poem, itself, a rare act of reciprocity that I could only witness.