• csalisbury
    I remember meeting you in a dark dream
    Of April, you or some girl,
    The necklace of wishes alive and breathing around your throat.
    In blindness of that dark whose
    Brightness turned to sand salt-gazed in noon sun
    We could not know each other or know which part
    Belonged to the other, pelted in an electric storm of rain.
    Only gradually the mounds that meant our bodies
    That wore our selves concaved into view
    But intermittently as through dark mist
    Smeared against fog. No worse time to have come,
    Yet all was desiring through already desired and past,
    The moment a monument to itself
    No one would ever see or know was there.
  • csalisbury
    That time faded too and the night
    Softened to smooth spirals or foliage at night.
    There were sleeping cabins near by, bind lanterns,
    Nocturnal friendliness of the plate of milk left for the fairies
    Who otherwise might be less well disposed:
    Friendship of white sheets patched with milk.
    And always an open darkness in which one name
    Cries over and over again: Ariane! Ariane!
    Was it for this you led your sisters back from sleep
    And now he of the blue beard has outmaneuvered you?
    But for the best perhaps: let
    Those sisters slink into the sapphire
    Hair that is mounting day.
    There are still other made-up countries
    Where we can hide forever,
    Wasted with eternal desire and sadness,
    Sucking the sherberts, crooning the tunes, naming the names.
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New Poem : De Imagine Mundi
  • csalisbury
    The many as noticed by the one:
    The noticed one, confusing itself with the many
    Yet perceives itself as an individual
    Traveling between two fixed points.
    Such glance as dares dart out
    To pin you in your afternoon lair is only a reflex,
    A speech in a play consisting entirely of stage directions
    Because there happened to be a hole for it there.
    Unfortunately, fewer than one half of one per cent
    Recognized the divined gesture as currency
    (Which it is, albeit inflated)
    And the glance comes to rest on top of a steeple
    With about as much interest as a bird's
  • csalisbury
    They had moved out here from Boston
    Those two. (The one, a fair sample
    Of the fair-sheaved many,
    The other boggling into single oddness
    Plays at it when he must
    Not getting better or younger.)
  • csalisbury
    The weather kept them at their small tasks:
    Sorting out the news, mending this and that.
    The great poker face impinged on them. And rejoiced
    To be a living reproach to
    Something new they've got.
    Skeeter collecting info: "Did you know
    About the Mugwump of the Final Hour?"
    Their even flesh tone
    A sign of "Day off,"
    The buses moving along quite quickly on the nearby island
    Also registered, as per his plan.
  • csalisbury
    Taking a path you never saw before
    Thought you knew the area
    (The many perceive they fight off sleep).
    "A few gaffers stay on
    To the end of the line
    Tho that is between bookends."
    The note is struck finally
    With just sufficient force but like a thunderbolt
    As only the loudest can be imagined.
    And they stay on to talk it over.
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New Poem : Foreboding
  • csalisbury
    A breeze off the lake - petal-shaped
    Luna-park effects avoid the teasing outline
    Of where would be if we were here.
    Bombed out of our minds, I think
    The way here is too close, too packed
    With surges of feeling. It can't be.
    The wipeout occurs first at the center,
    Now around the edges. A big ugly one
    With braces kicking the shit out of a smaller one
    Who reaches for a platinum axe stamped excalibur:
    Just jungles really. The daytime bars are
    Packed but night has more meaning
    In the pockets and side vents. I feel as though
    Somebody had just brought me an equation.
    I say, "I can't answer this - I know
    That it's true, please believe me,
    I can see the proof, lofty, invisible
    In the sky far above the striped awnings. I just see
    That I want it to go on, without
    Anybody's getting hurt, and for the shuffling
    To resume between me and my side of the night."
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New poem : The Tomb of Stuart Merrill
  • csalisbury
    It is the first soir of March
    They have taken the plants away.
  • csalisbury
    Martha Hoople wanted a big "gnossienne" hydrangea
    Smelling all over of Jicky for her
    Card party: the basement couldn't
    Hold up all that wildness.
  • csalisbury
    The petits fours have left.
  • csalisbury
    Then up and spake the Major:
    The new conservatism is
    Sitting down beside you.
    Once when the bus slid out past Place Pereire
    I caught the lens-cover reflection: lilacs
    Won't make much difference it said.
  • csalisbury
    Otherwise in Paris why
    You never approved much of my pet remedies.
    I spoke once of a palliative for piles
    You wouldn't try or admit to trying any other.
    Now we live without or rather we get along without
    Each other. Each of us does
    Live within that conundrum
    We don't call living
    Both shut up and open.
    Can knowledge ever be harmful?
    How about a mandate? I think
    Of throwing myself on the mercy of the court.
  • csalisbury
    They are bringing the plants back
    One by one
    In the interstices of heaven, earth and today.
  • csalisbury
    "I have become attracted to your style. You seem to possess within your work an air of total freedom of expression and imagery, somewhat interesting and puzzling. After I read one of your poems, I'm always tempted to read and reread it. It seems that my inexperience holds me back from understanding your meanings.
  • csalisbury
    [this is the last time I'll add commentary here. I don't know how I feel about the above move - the last stanza - on Ashbery's part. This whole poem is particularly strange to me, and this part especially There's definitely something offputtingly narcissistic about the quote, but the way it's inserted - as quoted prose - suggests its meant to be intentionally jarring. Maybe there is something to be said for nakedly including this sort of thing. Not sure. In any case, that's my commentary, back to quoting the rest [this is about the midpoint of the book ] ]
  • csalisbury
    "I really would like to know what it is you do to 'magnetize' your poetry, where the curious reader, always a bit puzzled, comes back for a clearer insight."
  • csalisbury
    The canons are falling
    One by one
    Including "le célèbre" of Pachelbal
    The final movement of Franck's sonata for piano and violin.
    How about a new kind of hermetic conservativism
    And suffering withdrawal symptoms of the same?
  • csalisbury
    Let's get on with it
    But what about the past
  • csalisbury
    Because it only builds up out of fragments.
    Each evening we walk out to see
    How they are coming along with the temple.
    There is an interest in watching how
    One piece is added to another.
    At least it isn't horrible like
    Being inside a hospital and really finding out
    What it's like in there.
    So one is tempted not to include this page
    In the fragment of our lives
    Just as its meaning is about to coagulate
    In the air around us:
  • csalisbury
    "Father!" "Son!" "Father I thought we'd lost you
    In the blue and buff planes of the Aegean:
    Now it seems you're really back."
    "Only for a while, son, only for a while."
    We can go inside now.
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
  • csalisbury
    New poem: Tarpaulin
  • csalisbury
    Easing the thing
    Into spurts of activity
    Before the emptiness of late afternoon
    Is a kind of will power
    Blaring back its received vision
    From a thousand tenement windows
    Just before night
    Its signal fading
  • csalisbury
    [end of poem]
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