Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]

at least as alive as the vulgar!

My Heart, by Frank O'Hara

I'm not going to cry all the time
nor shall I laugh all the time,
I don't prefer one "strain" to another.
I'd have the immediacy of a bad movie,
not just a sleeper, but also the big,
overproduced first-run kind. I want to be
at least as alive as the vulgar. And if
some aficionado of my mess says
"That's not like Frank!", all to the good! I
don't wear brown and grey suits all the time,
do I? No. I wear workshirts to the opera,
often. I want my feet to be bare,
I want my face to be shaven, and my heart--
you can't plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open.

A friend of mine sent me this poem many months ago, and I was just roaming through my old email and found it again. I'm so glad I did. She thought the poem and I would be simpatico and we are. I would hire it to be one of my small spokesmen.

Having a baby is helping me wriggle free of...something good to be free of...um:

*the tendency to judge myself by my artistic output/lack thereof

*always turning my head from side to side to see where my peer horses are in the race that we aren't actually running anyway

(Anything racetrack-y is an optical illusion that I fall for over and over again, the same way I'm fooled every night by my dreams and I think a very young John Lennon really is offering me $16,000 to buy my house.)

*the stupid wish for my life to look cool, have a particular flavor about it

*the idea that my life will end up worthy or unworthy as a result of anything other than what my goddamn heart did during its stint

I want to always be shaking off whatever Frank's shaking off in that poem there, and then some.


edit: My old and dear friend Kris has a little boy, Linus, and she looks like she's doing some of the very wriggling free that I aspire to do. Look at you go, lady.