Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT April 4th 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

For this session we read an excerpt from Why I Am Not A Painter by Frank O’Hara, posted below. 

Our prompt was: “Write or draw about orange.”

More details will be posted on this session, so check back again!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

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Please join us for our next session Friday April 15th at 12pm EDT,  with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

Why I Am Not A Painter by Frank O’Hara

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink” he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES.

Copyright © 2008 by Maureen Granville-Smith

See prompt drawing responses from our session below!

by Rita Basuray

by Soren Glassing

8 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT April 4th 2022

  1. Write about an orange~~~

    Life is circular, sort of like an orange rolling across my kitchen floor and going rogue.
    We start out as an egg in our mother’s womb and then enter into this wide world,
    this big blue and green globe.

    Our life is composed of our experiences and interactions with those around us, above us, below us.
    Life keeps evolving, we age and we eventually leave this earth,
    having rolled uncontrollably through life like that runaway orange,
    gathering memories and emotions.

    I like the color orange… full of life, full of zest.
    And heck, we can squeeze the life out of oranges to make a delicious juice… what more could we want.

    Liked by 2 people

    • al3793


      Your speaker truly comes full circle from the orange orb of the rogue orange ending in that circle of life, the delicious juice we make of it somedays. The blue (and green -close enough) chosen to describe the world compliment the color orange. I imagine the rolling orange snowballing as it gathers memories and emotions.

      Interestingly, I first read the word rogue as rouge. Thank you for posting this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Terry Hourigan

    One of our sweetest exchanges with friends and family. I’m at a different market, squeezing, guessing: will these be really good? Should I get a lot or just one? My favorite patients have gifted me with more than one of you, so sweet. Don’t give up…

    Liked by 2 people

    • al3793

      I like the reference to the sweetness of the orange in your speaker’s relationship to family and friends. I sense a long swatch of time during which gifts were exchanged and the encouragement that keeps others coming back. Nice! Andre


  3. al3793

    I think O’ Hara gives oranges a bad rap
    I wonder why he thinks that way

    so ill of them
    In fact orange gave him a page
    full of words
    not just lines
    and somehow
    I don’t know how
    but it seemed to let him see SARDINES
    on a canvas that later disappeared
    and in so doing he reaped not one
    but ten ORANGE poems
    as he explained
    why he is not a painter.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Elizabeth

    Sometimes I look at an orange as a beautiful fruit…
    Almost perfect uniform in color with no blemishes,
    And I know it will be juicy and taste as sweet as sugar.
    At other times, I see a mottled fruit,
    With bumps and bruises,
    And I know it will taste tart and bitter and citrusy (not in a good way).
    But who am I to judge an orange by its skin?
    Maybe the orange with the beautiful outside,
    Is mushy and has a rotten taste,
    While the less aesthetically pleasing orange
    Taste like it comes from the Garden of Eden.

    If I try not to judge people so harshly,
    Why am I so tough on the fruit?

    Liked by 2 people

    • al3793

      Elizabeth, your speaker captures the genuine experience humans with fruit and parallels the spectrum of human nature, sometimes sweet, maybe even better sweet and tart. Who knows? Some days that same human might be mushy or rotten or bitter, just like the orange left too long. I doesn’t really matter what they look like. It’s what’s inside…


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