A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Ben Fama

Frank O’Hara

The only time I wish
Other people heard my thoughts
Is when I put your name
Right now I’m thinking
I wish you were still alive
So I could be your partner
Whether in art or life
I’m not really sure
Mostly life I think
But they say
Life imitates art
So who knows


And now each morning 
I’m alive I blow
a copper hunting horn
towards the woods
and the sky
on the cool breeze
over the dying grasses
towards the sea
and anywhere else 
I believe people are


The Indian summer starts tomorrow
pasted from today. 
Who drives while you dream? 
In bronze by the road: Here
violence heralded the rise of an ace,
to later be bitten on the arm
by a cobra. Behind the moon, 
the moon. The things you feel are real, 
Like googly eyes on a barn yard skull, 
there’s no adult participation required. 
Thursday brings a closing sextile aspect, 
to wrap you in a hot pink psychedelic landslide
and that is something.

The movie "The September Issue" came out on my birthday, August 20, in 2009. I went to Chelsea to see it, and afterward went to a wine bar in my neighborhood back in Brooklyn.  I wore this motorcycle style jacket made of soft black terrycloth—well it isn't as flashy as it might sound, it's actually a subtle design with some cool zipper work and built-in thumbholes like a hooded sweatshirt might have. I was mugged on my way home that evening, around 2am. I lost nothing of value but a tote bag that had been hand painted for me as a gift. The September Issue was a glamourous film (I was Team Grace, not Anna, afterwards) and I was feeling good that night, what with all the wine. I was struck and knocked to the ground during the attack. I received a scar to remember the incident. The next evening I walked the same path alone where I was struck at 4am just to re-inscribe that exact street as my own again. I still have the jacket also.

Ben Fama is the author of New Waves, Aquarius Rising, and the artist book Mall Witch. His work appears in The Brooklyn Rail, Action Yes, Jubilat, notnostrums, LIT, Poor Claudia, Denver Quarterly, Maggy, and on the Best American Poetry Blog. He is the co-editor of Wonder and lives in New York City.