Wednesday, June 03, 2009

John Ashbery - Like America

Like America
John Ashbery

People are buying store-dolls.
I wonder if that’s forbidden too.
Does it mean one isn’t to lead one’s life?

Today, a day that makes very little sense,
like America,
in clear disarray
everything’s getting worse.
Besides, who are we not to endorse it?

And these shattered ornaments to truth
almost grew up to me.
The sun and the yard
paused over a thousand times,
unable to explain the arch that is daylight.

And the tribes that were before
this panicked band announced it was quitting
saw the crocuses too. They were purple and awful.

It’s almost leaking to say it.
But how much longer could I go on not missing the point?


At 6/03/2009 12:38 PM, Blogger Jason Crane said...

Is it me, or does that poem punch you right in the gut?

Thanks for posting it, John.

In other news, my three-year-old managed to steal and hide my copy of Map of the Folded World on the same day I received it. This weekend, after weeks of searching, I located it in one of his newer hiding spots. I can't say whether he was reading it...


At 6/03/2009 12:59 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


This is so weird. I was listening to Rollins's "the freelance years" while typing the poem out (which reminded me of your website). I thought of Ashbery while reading the liner notes describing Rollins's improv style . . . so I thought to put this up on the blog.

My three-year-old doesn't do much with books. He goes for my cell phone.

At 6/03/2009 4:58 PM, Blogger Jason Crane said...

Wow, that IS weird. It's kind of a cool world, ain't it?

At 6/04/2009 1:10 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...


I found that Sonny Rollins liner notes quote, and decided to make a post out of it (and another thing I saw that was about Ashbery).



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