A series of works on paper exploring tearoom trade, and reflecting upon the poem “In Memory of My Feelings” by Frank O’Hara
My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent
and he carries me quietly, like a gondola, through the streets.
He has several likenesses, like stars and years, like numerals.
My quietness has a number of naked selves,
so many pistols I have borrowed to protect myselves
from creatures who too readily recognize my weapons
and have murder in their heart!
though in winter
they are warm as roses, in the desert
taste of chilled anisette.
to be born and live as variously as possible. The conception
of the masque barely suggests the sordid identifications.
I am a Hittie in love with a horse. I don’t know what blood’s
in me I feel like an African prince I am a girl walking downstairs
in a red pleated dress with heels I am a champion taking a fall
I am a jockey with a sprained ass-hole I am the light mist
in which a face appears
and it is another face of blonde I am a baboon eating a banana
I am a dictator looking at his wife I am a doctor eating a child
And the child’s mother smiling I am a Chinaman climbing a mountain
I am a child smelling his father’s underwear I am an Indian
sleeping on a scalp
and my pony is stamping in the birches,
and I’ve just caught sight of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
What land is this, so free?
And now it is the serpent’s turn.
I am not quite you, but almost, the opposite of visionary. . .
I have forgotten my loves, and chiefly that one, the cancerous
statue which my body could no longer contain,
against my will
against my love
I could not change it into history
and so remember it,
and I have lost what is always and everywhere
present, the scene of my selves, the occasion of these ruses,
which I myself and singly must now kill
and save the serpent in their midst.