2. I am already a dilettante on the bass guitar.
3. I prefer mulling to doing.
4. I hope never to attend Art Basel Miami Beach again. Okay, maybe the more intriguing satellite fairs, but that is absolutely it.
5. Chemicals make me sneeze. A lot.
Why I Am Not a Painter
by Frank O'Hara
I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,
for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.
But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.
Hold up: I just discovered this love letter that Joan Mitchell wrote to Michael Goldberg while he was in Rockland State Hospital, Orangeburg, N.Y., "in lieu of serving prison time for writing bad checks on her husband's account." Thank you Washington Post, for feeding my lust for all that was Mitchell.
Just got your letter . . . -- God you mean a lot to me -- it's never been like this before in my life. I cleaned the studio -- made the bed . . . -- I'm using the paint off your palette -- I feel so close to you . . . -- I'm drinking the beer you left on the windowsill -- & I'm kissing you -- this I do all the time . . .
Back to the O'Hara poem: It's not only one of my many faves by him, but it also inspired the title of Oranges and Sardines, a visual art and literature magazine that's as delicious to look at as it is to read. Do both for free at the link above, or buy the hard body here.
Below, from the current issue of O&S, is "Fashionstar," an oil on board by Jason John. It's followed up by an excerpt from
Jay Snodgrass' "Cadaver as Readymade," which I suggest you eat before it eats you.