What follows is a strange little thing called a New York School poem, of which type, while I didn’t know its name until today, I have seen from time to time in my travels as a poetry reader. Apparently, there’s even a recipe for such an animal! I used some of the items from this particular recipe, but mostly I took my cue from a Frank O’Hara poem and I wrote about my school’s neighborhood, some colleagues of mine, and the disparaging headline I saw today about Johnny Depp’s new movie.
after Frank O’Hara
Johnny Depp’s new movie is a flop!
I was riding my bike up Roethe hill
against a severe headwind and
away from the neighborhood strip bar
(has The Dolphin finally shuttered itself?)
and you mentioned later how impressed
you were as I turned into the Putnam
driveway that I did not seem to be struggling
and you wondered if I was in some kind of granny gear;
no, numb nuts, I was just in a hurry
to begin my day with teenagers a whole block
away from strip bars and Pogy’s Subs and
Little Caesar’s and the Plaid flipping Pantry
and almost immediately after my arrival
I saw the headline on The Huff Post that
Johnny Depp’s new movie was a flop
and I thought to myself who gives a shit?
And while I think you’re a fine science
teacher and a guy I enjoy being around,
I’m not always sure about your politics
and I’m not always sure you mean what
you say or if you’re just trying to get a rise
out of people, like Tom or Chris, mostly Tom;
I’m no Drew Coleman, but despite the cold outside
I was hot from the ride and I took off my gear
and thought, oh, Johnny, everybody flops
and you’ll probably do it again and none
of us holds it against you.