Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Don Draper Knows How To Sell Books

It's funny. Frank O'Hara hasn't been in my consciousness before, say, a few weeks ago when I visited the Beat Generation exhibit at the HRC at UT-Austin. An excellent exhibit, but if you are going to see it, you'd better hurry because it ends this Sunday.

Nonetheless, Frank O'Hara figures prominently in the Season Two premiere of Mad Men on AMC when Don Draper sees a guy at a diner reading the Frank O'Hara book, Meditations in an Emergency. For more about this book, check out Michael Leddy's blog.

At the end of the episode, Don reads aloud the fourth (last) section of "Mayakovsky," the last poem in Meditations:

Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.

For a fictional character, Don sure knows how to move books. When I checked Amazon.com just now, it was the No. 1 selling book of American poetry. Suck it, Robert Frost!

Tom Waits in Atlanta Podcast

Got two and half hours to spare? If you missed Tom Waits on the Glitter and Doom tour, you can catch the rebroadcast of the Atlanta show on NPR. I highly recommend it.