ON O’HARA’S BIRTHDAY

Dr. Su just took out another group of stitches.
Path report OK.
*
Jimmy Powers
haven’t seen you since we were teens
pushing lawnmowers
in the Michigan sun.
*
Not going to get out Rachmaninoff
that was your gig—
but had Harrison’s GIVE ME LOVE
going in the car today.
Replayed over and over the start,
the up-strum of the acoustic guitar that begins the song,
electric guitar and bass coming in soon,
the long long note held on the word
“soul.”
Jerry Wu study this one.
The bass trails off—
Klaus Voormann—
all those years Harrison heard McCartney play bass
seeped into his music.
*
Moved the African violet out of the south sun,
it’s bloomed again, dark pink.
(Texting Rog
trying to arrange a hook-up—
Right now, he asks?
Yeah, new ideas.)
Use my thumbnail to peel bark
from the Catlin elm—
still green.
*
Good to have more stitches out,
long hot shower.
I’m approaching 200 stitches in my career
since going down the ice hill we made
opening a fire hydrant
in Drayton Plains, Michigan.
We were lectured by a fireman
who was quite hot.
When the road man
was moving the steamroller over the new asphalt
Bill threw a frog in front of it
which was run over and impressed quite attractively into the new  road.
He got off his steamroller
to lecture us about cruelty—
I didn’t do it!
*
The builders who drained our swamps
killed many more animals,
and they weren’t 10-year-olds.
Their bulldozers put fill-dirt over the frogs,
salamanders, and turtles.
*
Frank,
my view a Pasadena alley,
upper 70s,
the 210 freeway whooshing in the distance
like surf breaking on rock
in Trinidad, California.
*
Last Sunday
Bernie lectured me
about over-identifying with gays.
Bernie is straight.
Thought driving to Dr. Su this morning
your Rachmaninoff, opera, museum, New York
classic gay stereotypes.
*
All this greatness by association
wears me down.
–3/27/10

About the author

Craig Cotter was born in 1960 in New York and has lived in California since 1986. His poems have appeared in many print and…

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