Frank O’Hara (1926-1966)
I’ve had many things to say about Frank O’Hara over the years. He’s my muse, the reason I write poetry, and the person I return to whenever I feel lost. He’s almost become the saint I pray to. I love the life Frank O’Hara lived, and the openness with which he lived it. I’ve never been so authentic as he seemed to be throughout his entire life. As I approach the age he was when he died, I can’t help comparing myself to him. That’s not terribly fair to me, but it’s interesting to see how little I seem to have done in comparison. I used to be very protective of Frank O’Hara. I didn’t want to hear negative things about him, and would be irritated when he was used out of context (like referring to him as a part of the Beat Movement), but I’ve eased up on that a little. I think it just matches how I’ve eased up on everything. I used to have more opinions on people, on books, on politics, on almost everything.
I’m not sure I should stay so laid back about things. Good people can see how things are crumbling around us. Hate and oppression are on the rise, and it takes staying angry to make sure we can get our country back.
In the meantime, I have O’Hara’s writings to read. And I have his example to help inform the way one should live. It’s actually been a little while since I re-read his poetry, and I think it’s time to pick some up and immerse myself again.
Bright Light Bright Light (Rod Thomas) (1982-)
I have a confession to make. I prefer listening to LGBT music artists. I always have. Sure, I have a great love of Madonna (especially in the 1990s and 2000s), and I’ve long enjoyed the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Django Reinhardt. I even love U2 and I can’t get enough of Peter Hollens. But there is something about LGBT artists, specifically gay men, that really touches my soul in ways that other artists are unable to do. I don’t know why it is, but it’s been true even when I didn’t realize what was going on. As a kid, I was drawn to Culture Club, Elton John, and George Michael. I didn’t know why at the time, but it makes sense to me now. And I’m still doing it. I fell in love with Scissor Sisters on the day their first album was released. I had never heard of them before, but the album spoke to me so much that I cried. It keeps coming up. I hear a song on the radio, know it’s my people, and when I look it up I discover Adam Lambert, Troye Sivan, or Todrick Hall.
I discovered Bright Light Bright Light when iTunes recommended him to me when I was buying something else. I tried it out and purchased the EP for In Your Care, which has 5 songs. He completely spoke to me. Musically, it might just be perfect. Within a couple of weeks, I was buying everything I could find and discovering that he was connected to both Ana Matronic and Del Marquis of Scissor Sisters, and he had done songs with them. Every song just seemed better than the last one I had heard. And then I discovered the music he had released under his real name, Rod Thomas, and it was great as well. I’m all in at this point, having listened to his music more than 95% of the music on my computer. While there are no songs I don’t love, the ones I love most art Immature, In Your Care, Disco Moment, Debris, Feel It, Good Times, & Little Bit.
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