When I was 14 I thought everyone was straight. So when I heard that Andy Warhol was gay, I freaked out. I mean, how did that happen? The teacher never mentioned it in my high school art class. But when I heard that Cy Twombly was also gay, I freaked out a little less. Then I heard Edward Albee was gay. OMFG! Then I heard a whole lot of artists and ... More
Posts Tagged “Frank O’Hara”
“Palimpsest, i.e., a parchment from which one writing has been erased to make room for another.” H. D.
“For every painter there was a poet.” Eric Brown
January in New York. Snow, cold. At Vince’s loft in Chelsea. Got there at little early. When Vince came in, his sons Oliver & Isaac were unfolding the papel picados I had brought for them from the Casa Bonampak, 1051 Valencia St., one for Dia de los Muertos, one tomato-red Amor for Valentine’s Day. They were happy, thought they could bring them to school for their Spanish cla... More
Last week a friend, the poet Joshua Clover, asked me to be a call in guest on his radio program at UC Davis and read Frank O’Hara’s poem “The Day Lady Died,” as it was exactly 50 years ago that Billie Holiday died and O’Hara wrote his famous surprise elegy for her. In his poem O’Hara links fandom to, well, death in a luminous and memorable way. When you listened to Billie Holiday “live” (a telling term), he recalls, “Everyone and I stopped breathing.” Naturally this made me think of how we all heard about Michael Jackson’s death, and I offered that somebody somewhere is writing “The Day Michael Jackson Died,” and Clover asked why didn’t I write such a poem. Maybe this is it.
I flew out of SFO on the day Michael died (and Farrah Fawcett). I loved both of them probably for the same reason, they were both striking and glamorous stars who came to us cursed as though by jealous gods. At the Virgin America terminal, Virgin had transformed Gate 12 into a disco, th... More
[Charles Bernstein responds to recent discussions about his review “Is Art Criticism Fifty Years Behind Poetry?” in last winter’s Parkett. –SS]
Suzanne Stein has asked me to make some comments on two posts on Open Space, one by Kevin Killian and then Julian Myers’s response (to which several responses were subsequently posted). Both Killian (whom I know for many years) and Myers (whose name is new to me) focused at least in part on a review I wrote for Parkett magazine of Lytle Shaw’s Frank O’Hara: The Poetics of Coterie, titled “Is Art Criticism Fifty Years Behind Poetry?“. I wrote my review of Shaw’s book in December 2008 and it was published by Parkett this past winter.
In his post, Killian gently chides me for not giving the original source of my ironic title, which I guess I took for granted. But the sentiment has become a kind of received wisdom, removed from the specifics of Brion Gysin’s original remark:
Writing ... More
Published earlier this year, his essay responds to the dismissal of Frank O’Hara’s art criticism by Clement Greenberg, and damns by association a “monological an... More
Charles Bernstein is a poet, professor and theorist, and he co-edited the influential journal of poetics called L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E back in the heroic age of Language Poetry (1978-81). Recently he got the art world up in arms when he published a provocative article in Parkett magazine, the spring issue with Zoe Leonard, Tomma Abts, Mai-Thu Perret. Bernstein’s article asks, “Is Art Criticism Fifty Years Behind Poetry?” and pretty much says, yes, indeed it is, or more so. This question may sound vaguely familiar to some of you out there, for it is a reversal or takeoff on Brion Gysin’s remark that “Writing is fifty years behind painting. I propose to apply the painters’ techniques to writing; things as simple as immediate as collage or montage.”
Beneath the impudence of its trappings, Bernstein’s essay is a review of a recent book by New York-based poet and art writer Lytle Shaw, his 2006 monograph Frank O’Hara: The Poetics of Coterie (Iowa). Shaw’s subjec... More