By John Ashbery
Thrill of a Romance
It's assorted in case you have hiccups.
every little thing is—so many comfortable fingers competing
in your recognition, a headscarf, a pant of soot,
or simply a blast of silence from a radio.
what's it? That's so that you can examine
in your dismay whilst, on the finish of a protracted queue
within the cafeteria, tray in hand, they let you know the gate closed down
after the second one international battle. Syracuse used to be declared capital
of a kingdom in malaise, however the directorate
had different, hidden pursuits. To proclaim common sense
a casualty of fact was once one.
Everyone's solitude (and ensuing promiscuity)
perfumed the byways of villages we had concept civilized.
I observed you watching for a streetcar and pressed ahead.
sadly, you have been just a baby in armor. Now whilst ribald toasts
sail around a desk too reasonable laid out, why the implications
are just dirt, sickness and previous age. friendly thoughts
are only that. So I channel no matter what
into my contingency, a vein of mercury
that retains breaking out, better up, extra on time
whenever. Dirndls noticed with out of date plant life,
worn within the urban back, advertise open discussion.
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Additional info for A Worldly Country: New Poems
Did a dream publish you as you turned in sleep to that other accessory, who waited so long that the life drained out of his circumstance? Imagine that you can have this time any way it comes easily, that a doctor wrote you a prescription for savage joy and they say they can ﬁll it if you’ll wait a moment. What springs to mind? Do you turn and walk out of the drugstore, intent on the bus that stops at the corner of 23rd Street and after an eternity pulls up with a hiss just as the red light is changing to green?
Only doubt, and suspicion, subsist. Cut the week in half. Stir the ice-cube tray. Bring a sketch pad, a child’s illustration, a small investment, then more material as someone oversees it, a harmonic convergence viewed through a ﬂawed window, on pain of death. And better to be ﬁnding out this way than across rued reminiscence, O songbird! You asked us to believe in you but the way was short. Our quondam companions persist, 29 a small, muddy group, adhere to the rival shore, ravenous, and expire.
It’s quite simple, really: Light in the kitchen goes askance. It’s a stored-up nimbus from fairly recent times when they took architecture seriously. Now it’s only about interiors, how they run into each other promiscuously, or are gone. Another day packed with no realism, shouting, a little fawning for good measure. Then it’s off around the cape again. I said, in times of war we make good warriors. In peace we are as nothing: good dads or bankers. But see where the tide is rising for the umpteenth time, and try to put a saddle on that.
A Worldly Country: New Poems by John Ashbery