By John Ashbery
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No, there’s no shortcut to being overcharged, And if one wants to become a diamond eventually it isn’t too early To begin thinking about it, no, to begin thinking about it right now Before storks are actually to be observed standing on chimneys, cruelly one-legged, And the tarmac of one season is brought in, brushed off and saved For any other season: for all consequences to be minded. My name is Steve she said my name is Brian My pretty baa-lambs each have names just like everything else upon earth, Proper names, I mean.
The words are there already. Just because the river looks like it’s flowing backwards Doesn’t mean that motion doesn’t mean something, That it’s incorrect as a metaphor. And the way stones sink, So gracefully, Doesn’t rob them of the dignity Of their cantankerous gravity. They are what they are and what they seem. Maybe our not getting closer to them Puts some kind of shine on us We didn’t consent to, As though we were someone’s car: Large, animated, calm. Adam Snow Let’s try the ingenuous mode, if for no better Reason than its staying power: locked into a continuum That rises and falls with the contours of this earth, Inhabiting a Tom Tiddler’s ground of special pleading And cash-and-carry.
Some ministering To the handy and the articulate, and bread left then Won’t be idle, part of a mass of frayed circumstance. Water would rise coolly toward the throat then. Pray that in just one bubble the color Will cover the whole surface sheen, Polluting remembrance, the house where I was born. And in that moment of curious rage an attic Is pitched, a place to come after long love, And dexterity after wearing these fingers out. ). It is time to slink off to one’s post in some cold desert (Not the Sahara, more like the Gobi actually) And wait amid that sadness known as banishment For the point to reappear, though it may never do so, And what was that strange uniform?