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« Angela Ball Honored at the University of Southern Mississippi | Main | It Was 50 Years Ago Today [by Lewis Saul] »

October 23, 2022


I love the savvy, powerful, gritty poems of KC Trommer. I am thrilled to see her and hear her on BAP's Pick of the Week.

Very cool. Love it.

Energy in language and motion!!!!

Frank's spirit inhabiting a new generation and a new neighborhood! Love this literary lineage.

Love the extended, breathful lines and how fully TC speaks in the spirit of O'Hara, how she knows "The Day Lady Died" as well as you can. Good pick Terence!

I loved this poem and the artwork. It was great being able to hear the voice of K.C. Trommer reading her poetry.

Kinetic music in each line! Thank you.

“Off the Roosie,” the title of KC Trommer’s superbly tucked paean/poem to Frank O’Hara, is a slang reference to Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, where you can catch the “7” train. It is a peripatetic poem prompted by the undimmed influence of “Frankie’s I-do-this-I-do-that poems,” a phrase both echoing and skewering detractors of O’Hara’s assumed schematism while injecting the light but still piquant informality of “Frankie’s.” Trommer takes the intentionally quotidian inversion found in, say, “The Day Lady Died” (the title itself is an inversion of Billie Holiday’s sobriquet “Lady Day”), and applies it faultlessly and uniquely to her own journey on foot. She leads us expectantly through her inventory of sights, sounds, diversions, and, most importantly, ruminations on all. (I love her reference to “Spoon,” a/k/a Jimmy Witherspoon, a great blues-jazz singer born in Arkansas in 1923. His 1996 album, LIVE AT THE MINT, is a favorite of mine.) The last four lines of “Off the Roosie” are especially powerful, disturbing the familiarity preceding them, and jolting the aura of automatic behavior with a startling acknowledgment of an absence. Thanks, Terence, for introducing me to this gifted poet. Kudos, too, for your selection of artwork.

Thanks, Earle. Great comment.

Thank you all for your kind and generous responses to my poem!

I love the work of the poets who commented here and am honored that they took the time to read my work.

Dr. Hitchner--I was referencing Spoon's 2017 song "Underdog" but now I'm adding I am adding Jimmy Witherspooon to the playlist I made for my book:

A million thanks to Terence for selecting the poem and the snap o Queens for this.

Thank you, KC, for the wonderful poem. I think O'Hara would have been delighted.

I actually Googled "Spoon" before leaping headfirst into another, familiar-to-me "Spoon," viz., Jimmy Witherspoon, in my previous comment. I got overexcited by the prospect of that latter "Spoon" being the one. My gaffe. And I like the song "Underdog," which I predictably couldn't find by Jimmy Witherspoon. You're too kind, KC, in forgiving my blunder. Adding Jimmy Witherspoon to your playlist may help to salve the wound I caused. On a brighter note: count me among Spoon fans. From what I can tell, that Austin-formed rock band has been plugging away since at least 1993. But most important of all, thank you for "On the Roosie." I agree with Terence: O'Hara would have been delighted.

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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