Monday, April 10, 2017

A participle, nowadays

a word formed from
a verb and no long-
er seen as a verb,
as in guy reading.

   All through the fifties and sixties the land tilted
   Toward the bowl of life. Now life
   Has moved in that direction. We taste the conviction
   Minus the rind, the pulp and the seeds. It
   Goes down smoothly.

   At a later date I added color
   And the field became a shed in ways I no longer remember.
   Familiarly, but without tenderness, the sunset pours its
   Dance music on the (again) slanting barrens.
   The problems we were speaking of move up toward them.

John Ashbery
Houseboat Days
  Whether it Exists
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1977©

Wynn Bullock
Boy fishing
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Modern Art, New York

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