Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Just Walking Around" [John Ashbery]

From The Believer 2009 interview with John Ashbery: "... I guess my poetry is indebted to music because it’s something that unfolds in a linear way and it’s not something that can be taken in immediately, like a painting. As much as I love visual art, I’ve never felt it’s been much of an influence on me. I love having it around, as you see. It’s probably the idea of not knowing yourself what’s going to come next, just as when you’re listening to a piece of music you don’t know what’s waiting around the corner. ..."

"Just Waling Around"
(John Ashbery)
What name do I have for you? 
Certainly there is not name for you
In the sense that the stars have names
That somehow fit them. Just walking around, 

An object of curiosity to some, 
But you are too preoccupied
By the secret smudge in the back of your soul
To say much and wander around, 

Smiling to yourself and others.
It gets to be kind of lonely
But at the same time off-putting.
Counterproductive, as you realize once again

That the longest way is the most efficient way, 
The one that looped among islands, and
You always seemed to be traveling in a circle.
And now that the end is near

The segments of the trip swing open like an orange.
There is light in there and mystery and food.
Come see it.
Come not for me but it.
But if I am still there, grant that we may see each other.

Just Walking Around

Just Walking Around

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