Today’s prompt is to write a “New York School” poem using the recipe found here. The New York School is the name of a group of poets that all lived in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. The most well-known members are Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. Their poems are actually very different from one another, but many “New York School” poems display a sort of conversational tone, references to friends and to places in and around New York, humor, inclusion of pop culture, and a sense of the importance of art (visual, poetic, and otherwise). Here’s a fairly representative example.
In following the recipe, you can include as many (or as few) of the listed elements as you wish.
Holy smokes, there’s a lot of stuff you’re supposed to try to add, but all fun! I think I got almost all the ingredients in this one!
Meet me at The Three Monkeys
Did I tell you we saw David Letterman live
when he interviewed Jimmy Carter
at the end of March, just a week before announcing
his retirement from The Late Show?
It was Monday, the same day that we watched Jay
playing bassoon at Carnegie Hall!
We wandered around with John’s parents
after the performance, and then on our own after lunch
until we got close enough to the Ed Sullivan Theater
to be on the lookout for a proper beer.
That’s when I saw the sign for The Three Monkeys
and felt the pull of craft beer and Irish accents.
It was sleepy in there, just one other couple getting up to leave.
The bartender said (I want to remember him as Declan
but I know that’s because of a crush I had
on my Irish Latin teacher way back in Buffalo)
“Oh, Letterman? You’ll be right back here then.
This is where they send ya to wait.”
But back at the theater, they put us in the “A” group
which meant very little waiting and only
one more beer. By then though there were lines
in The Three Monkeys at both bars and on the stairs,
and only two stalls in the ladies room downstairs,
and one of those was occupied for at least ten full minutes
while angry women began telling stories with clenched teeth and legs
about that woman and just what she was doing in there.
I wondered about heroin and death until it was my turn,
and then listened carefully for any noises coming from her stall. No.
But three minutes later we were around the corner on Broadway again
in another line, where we were herded and coached
and warned not to whoop or woohoo at all.
Then they sat us down in the theater seats,
and there was Alan Kalter and the show, and John finally got to see
the band, especially Will Lee, and they didn’t disappoint
and Jimmy Carter spoke bravely and seriously and Dave was amazing
at listening well and still being so very, very Dave.
It was only an hour, after all that waiting,
but it was, I’m pretty sure, my second favorite thing about that trip,
next to Jay at Carnegie of course!
Even though Motown the Musical was magical,
and the Lindy’s cheesecake was semi-orgasmic,
and Al Roker took a selfie with the kids next to us at the Today Show,
and Evan walked us through Soho and his old record-shopping life,
and oh, the Irish pubs – we loved you all!
We’ll be back again when we can pay
and maybe then we’ll line up for Stephen Colbert
after a couple more beers at The Three Monkeys.
~Liesl Dineen 2014