@ CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL
WHY WE ARE NOT PAINTERS

“Why wasn’t he?” asks Mr. Walcott when I’m supposed to be interviewing him. “Too chatty, too bloody discursive, in the presence of oranges.” I can’t think of any lines to cite, nervous. Street details. “He was beautiful.” Two remotenesses colliding, the optimism of free 50s poets and painters in which one could fall to a hotrodder on Long Island, the gorgeous & over the long haul Caribbean archipelago, schooled by water, set into couplets, ballads, terza rima.

There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by.

Remembering oranges rather than orange, mistakenly, I think I was right.

…My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES.    —
Frank O’Hara


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