Poetry, The Daily Blog

The Catastrophe of My Personality

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I am super late to get on the Mad Men bandwagon, but I’m proud to say that I am now firmly seated on that wagon.

Or maybe I’m the leader of that band.

Either way.

I’m really enjoying my one-episode-a-night habit, after coming home from school and in-between cooking dinner and writing these blog posts. It’s nice to get lost not just in a story, but in a different time period.

Tonight’s episode was focused around Frank O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency.

You don’t often see books appear on television shows. I wish it happened more often.

The episode ended with the main character reading an excerpt from O’Hara’s “Mayakovsky”. I loved it – I kept thinking about it because of the first stanza, and especially those first two lines. Here it is:

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.


I know winter has not arrived, so this poem doesn’t feel perfectly right, not just yet. But I think the day in winter will come when it does feel just right. And then I’ll be sad that I already used this poem up on a gorgeous, blue-skied autumn day.

But, using it up I am. It’s all the fault of those first few lines.

And, of course, the fault of Donald Draper and those fellows who wrote Mad Men.

And, while we’re on the subject, I’d like to let you know that I really like your personality.


I think you are great.