Thursday, January 1, 2015

Anything you canoe

 First, you say.
 How? Precedent
 or preference?

 From experience
 but also expec-
 tation, who can
 forget the boat
 that defines a
 body of water?

 Anything one ca-
 noe it canoe too.
 It might have be-
 gun many things.

What I am writing to say is, the timing, not
The contents, is what matters. All this could have happened
Long ago, or at least some other day,
And not meant much except insofar as the eye
Extracts a progress from almost anything. But then
It wouldn't have become a toy.
And all the myths,
Legends and misinterpretations, would have scattered
At a single pistol shot. And it would no longer know what
  I know.

John Ashbery
  Fantasia on 'The
  Nut-Brown Maid'
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999©

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