Monday, January 09, 2006

the english building

Day one of teaching accomplished.

Students seem comatose. When I finished my introductory spiel and opened it up for questions, one student in my second class asked me, “Do you drink a lot of caffeine?” I told her, “No. I’m just super pumped about postmodern literature.”

The following is a poem by Frank O’Hara:


There’s nothing worse
than feeling bad and not
being able to tell you.
Not because you’d kill me
or it would kill you, or
we don’t love each other.
It’s space. The sky is grey
and clear, with pink and
blue shadows under each cloud.
A tiny airliner drops its
specks over the U N Building.
My eyes, like millions of
glassy squares, merely reflect.
Everything sees through me,
in the daytime I’m too hot
and at night I freeze; I’m
built the wrong way for the
river and a mild gale would
break every fiber in me.
Why don’t I go east and west
instead of north and south?
It’s the architect’s fault.
And in a few years I’ll be
useless, not even an office
building. Because you have
no telephone, and live so
far away; the Pepsi-Cola sign,
the seagulls and the noise.