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Frank O’Hara has said, “I am mainly preoccupied with the world as I experience it.” This aesthetic of solipsism turns out surprisingly to produce a serio-comic fragmentary memoir that we nonetheless come to feel as our own. O’Hara’s poems put down on paper the movements of a flâneur/poet who masquerades as a MoMA employee, a promiscuous homosexual, and an art critic in the postwar industrial bustle of the fifties into the sixties. He documents the familiar moments in this city—which is often as ugly as an oyster—where something breaks through (like a vision of the moon, as in ‘Avenue A’) into the strange permanence of a poem, “revealing itself like a pearl.”

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