Sunday, July 14, 2013

Those Wonderful Boys, The Beats

Frank O'Hara by Mario Schifano, 1965

"The Beats thought the New York poets "silly and effete," as evident in the infamous 1959 exchange at the Living Theater between Gregory Corso and O'Hara, in which Corso said (onstage) to O'Hara, "You see, you have it so easy because you're a faggot. Why don't you get married, you'd make a better father than I would." (When Ginsberg then interjected, "Shut up and let him read," Corso shot back, "And you're a fucking faggot too, Allen Ginsberg.") The evening ended with O'Hara walking out on his own reading after being relentlessly heckled by Kerouac, who earlier had told O'Hara backstage, "I'm sick and tired of your 6,000 pricks." ...  O'Hara had the aplomb to shrug off such scenes ("It really was quite a witty evening all in all," he wrote of the Living Theater exchange)."

– from Maggie Nelson's Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (seemingly an endless source of potent anecdote).