Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Spare us, O Lord, the taint of any improvement


So why not, indeed, try something new?
Actually, I can think of a number of reasons. 
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 civilised 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 mesmerised
       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.
What were we thinking all along? Who charted
this anxious mappemonde, barren of side roads
and identity crises?

There comes a time when the fleece
fills your mouth, but there was so much left to say.






















John Ashbery
A Worldly Country
  Imperfect Sympathies
op. cit.