Gloomy Monday

Yeah, it is gloomy here at my perch overlooking the BQE, Red Hook and the Buttermilk Channel. It’s also Billie Holiday‘s birthday. Lady Day, all day, on WKCR.

Here’s Frank O’Hara‘s poem, The Day Lady Died:

It is 12:20 in New York on a Friday
three days after Bastille Day yes
it is 1959 and I go get a shoeshine
because I will get off the 4:19 in Easthampton
at 7:15 and then go straight to dinner
and I don’t know the people who will feed me

I walk up the muggy street beginning to sun
and have a hamburger and a malted and buy
an ugly NEW WORLD WRITING to see what the poets
in Ghana are doing these days
I go on to the bank
and Miss Stillwagon (first name Linda I once heard)
doesn’t even look up my balance for once in her life
and in the GOLDEN GRIFFIN I get a little Verlaine
for Patsy with drawings by Bonnard although I do
think of Hesiod, trans. Richmond Latimore
or Brendan Behan’s new play or Le Balcon or Les Négres
of Genet, but I don’t, I stick with Verlaine
after practically going to sleep with quandariness

and for Mike I just stroll into the PARK LANE
Liquor Store and ask for a bottle of Strega and
then I go back where I came from to 6th Avenue
and the tobacconist in the Ziegfeld Theater and
casually ask for a carton of Gauloises and a carton
of Picayunes, and a NEW YORK POST with her face on it

and I am sweating a lot by now and thinking of
leaning on the john door in the FIVE SPOT
while she whispered a song along the keyboard
to Mal Waldron and everyone and I stopped breathing

Yeah, that’s good stuff. If you’re not going to listen to ‘KCR, maybe you’re curious about what a composer listens to? My great and good friend K. sent me her muxtape, through which I learned about Muxtape, and now here’s mine. Or, as least, mine for today.

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