Don't refuse to breathe (PoemTalk #185)

Frank O'Hara, "Song (Is it dirty)" & "Poem (Lana Turner Has Collapsed)"


The PoemTalk team went on the road again — to Los Angeles, California, and convened at the Pacific Palisades home of Marjorie Perloff, who for the third time in PoemTalk history generously agreed to host. Along with audio maestro Chris Martin and videographer-director Zach Carduner — who recording this episode for both audio and video playback — Al Filreis was joined by Robert von Hallberg, Charles Altieri, and by our host Marjorie Perloff.

The four gathered to talk about two well-known poems by Frank O’Hara, the first titled “Poem” or “Lana Turner Has Collapsed!” The second is “Song (Is it Dirty).” Both of course are available in The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara. The recording of “Poem” we play in the episode is from a reading O’Hara gave at the Lockwood Memorial Library at SUNY Buffalo in September 1964. The audio of “Song” we hear is taken from the television program USA: Poetry — from the eleventh episode of that series produced by Richard Moore for KQED-TV and WNET; the audio of O’Hara reading “Song” was extracted from the video originally filmed in New York City at O’Hara’s home in March of 1966.

The episode was edited by Zach Carduner.