Homage to the Action Painters and Abstract Expressionists -- Pollock, Kline, David Smith, Motherwell, Nakian, Frankenthaler, Cavallon, Katz -- personal friends of Frank O'Hara, poet, essayist, art curator, man about the arts. His ""How to Proceed in the Arts"" -- playful instructions for the would-be genius -- and ""5 Participants in a Hearsay Panel"" (co-authored with Elaine de Kooning) have that special wit and urbanity associated with the New York School. The interview with Larry Rivers, ""Why I Paint As I Do,"" displays an intelligence that meets the painter on his own creative ground. It would be niggardly to term these pieces -- all previously seen in such publications as Art News, Evergreen Review, and Kulchur -- reviews or even criticism. O'Hara quite simply teaches his audience how to see, and he writes beautifully. His prose is so lucid, so syntactically distilled that it approaches lyricism. De rigeur for students of contemporary art, whether visual or literary.