Two New York Poems

Knowing the Truth in memory of Frank O’Hara

Turn out all those stop lights please
I’m on the go again
pack it up
put on your hat the caretaker is away
for the weekend your heart is allowed
to fly around at will once more

The curse of rubber stockings
in a bathysphere &
dreams of Asian babes
throwing parasols at you should
cease & desist
Pocket
the change from this segment of your life
The shop is locked
I don’t care
There are no dress rehearsals in this here
neck of the woods
Park the car
walk the wet street
Spinach or peas please
me I take this cup that
no one offers
that no one has to tell me is mine
ask the cashier where the nearest refill is

The light changes
& you with it
The cars are brightly colored
I can’t choose never could read a map
love a dog
eat a big lunch keep you happy
very long

To A Martyred Painter in memory of Mark Rothko

No one is thinking about you much anymore.
The large book of your paintings hasn’t been
Checked out in years.

I fear fashion has moved elsewhere.
You are the old master; there are
New reputations to be made.
I look at your solemn eyes,
Do not see the light that must
Have shone inside,
Spilled out into your hands

To glow from the canvases,
Pulse like your heartbeat.
Color hanging in the air
With your cigarette smoke:

Darkness of the mind, fire
Of the soul share their rectangular place.
Placed together where melancholy
Reigned & rained in the winter wet

Of NYC, where your breath
Flowed out amongst the buildings,
Days on end and out of your body
The last time. The colors gone.

Published by William Cowan

I'm from the East Coast, have lived in SoCal and now Northern California for some years. I've been writing quite awhile, published in 1992 in a literary quarterly: "Suspicious Humanist," vol. 2, #2, (20 pages.) Best job: fm on air personality on a now defunct station, "Evening Eclectic" music show, and a weekly poetry reading show. I played jazz and free/improv I enjoyed. Read Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, etc. and commented on the poems. I have read once at a local coffee house. Love the Bay Area, wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I am going to appear in an east coast anthology of best new poets of 2010 by the end of the year, published in Pennsylvania. I'm reading once a month at a brewpub in Marin with a group of fellow poets. We read to each other our work, and personal favorite poems of authors we enjoy. It is a pleasure to share with a community of fellow enthusiasts.

Join the Conversation

  1. Kevin J

1 Comment

  1. “I look at your solemn eyes,
    Do not see the light that must
    Have shone inside,
    Spilled out into your hands

    To glow from the canvases,
    Pulse like your heartbeat.”

    That was truly an incredible eulogy (of sorts)

Leave a comment