This post contains multitudes, in terms of my interests. Poetry (which I majored in, in college *cough*), Frank O'Hara (who, as regular readers of Personism know, I love immeasurably), architectural preservation (St. Brigid is in jeopardy of being demolished - you can read up on it over at Curbed and also on Polis) and NYC the source of almost everything that inspires me in the world.
The poem below is from a charming little book published by Owl Press called The Hymns of St. Bridget & Other Writings, a collaboration between Bill Berkson and Frank O'Hara.
More about Berkson and O'Hara later today, for now, here's the poem:
Hymn to St. Bridget's Steeple
It is to you, bending limp and ridiculous, on Ninth
Street, that I turn. colder than usual after a summer
of lime and smoke. I think you are the first of Ireland's
saints, or the last, it doesn't matter you are my dream
of an actual winter with your icicle hat and your arms
which somehow seem square like something I couldn't see but
guessed at in the last Reinhardt I looked at. It wasn't
black, it was red, like New York if you're waste and
contained, or maybe maroon, like my heart which I imagine
inside me, although it looks black to you, St. Bridget,
although it is quiet and in need of filling. Please tell me
what it means "to pump," as if I were a well
growing upwards and into a steeple which someone who cares
names my own, for always to face the dullest wind,
and you should know, St. Bridget.