A Worldly Country: New Poems by John Ashbery

By John Ashbery

Thrill of a Romance

It's diversified when you've got hiccups.
every little thing is—so many completely happy fingers competing
in your realization, a headband, a gasp of soot,
or simply a blast of silence from a radio.
what's it? That's that you should research
in your dismay while, 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 warfare. Syracuse was once declared capital
of a state 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 proposal civilized.
I observed you expecting 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 results
are just airborne dirt and dust, affliction and outdated age. friendly thoughts
are only that. So I channel no matter what
into my contingency, a vein of mercury
that retains breaking out, greater up, extra on time
each time. Dirndls noticed with out of date flora,
worn within the urban back, advertise open discussion.

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Extra info for A Worldly Country: New Poems

Example text

Wait—suddenly I can’t think of any! The present is here, its birds and bees, fons et origo of life, folie de toucher that infects even the civilized classes— none of these are a reason to “start with” life, though some are undeniably a veiled warning back from the precipice where love dwells along with fetishism and nympholepsy. No need for these not to cohabit as long as the horses can stand it. Downtown was mesmerized another year. Just who are these strangers who come on so strong? Yet it is good to remember one’s humble origins, and reflect on how we came to look this way.

By the way, only minors are allowed. Finally I just went to him and said—look, if that’s all you can bring to the table, why are we here? We’ve got lots to do—more than our share. You can hear cars revving up in the next valley, but there’s still not enough time. 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.

Soon it was all old as clay. Why wait for another day? You know this one is happening and will be the same after it has happened. Nothing will come to take its place and that will be fine, good. Though not inhuman, we can play at what it would be like to be God, and God will not take us away. Another time I was at your house. It was suddenly dark inside. A wind swept past the bark of some trees. It was overdue, they said. All storms are inept. It was time to find the mind-crystal, pore over what we still had, the huge resource we owed.

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