Friday, December 12, 2003

Ashbery on a lost nation 

speakingcorpse sends us this poem. If you find it confusing, you're not alone. I think I find politics rather more confusing, though.

The Blessed Way Out
Raritan; New Brunswick; Fall 2002; John Ashbery

Those who came closest did not come close.
The unknown leaned out to them,
then it was post-afternoon. Yes, Jerry built it.
There are many of them in Old Town.
What with one thing and another
you gave me all sorts of fur presents, you know.
It was good to come back. Gumball machines furnish
the library's stark living style.
You can't compete with what the
car tells its owner. One by one you are mortal
if the watershed idea catches on
and if we are credited for our utterance.
They thought serendipity was the most beautiful thing in the world.
They were right. As the wheel takes hold,
other inspirations spike it.
There was no year like it for taxation.
FDR decreed a large public works program
that had to be supported with funds from somewhere.
Inevitably, these took the form of taxation.
As when a redbreast calls, there is someone to hear it.
Calico got pasted over the mouse hole.
What are we doing in a theater more than one
wondered. Leaves fled like falling stocks.


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