songanddancegirl

"It's about words, and words are all I have…"

CONCAVE

SELF PORTRAIT IN A CONCAVE MIRROR

You’re probably covered with a tarpaulin now

Laying in state in the back of a flatbed truck

On your way to Rochester   You lived with your

physicist grandfather there   I quoted you in my

1st Collection  In the poem: Deny Deny Deny  on

page 75

 

I tried each thing  only some were immortal and free

 

I didn’t really understand your poetry at first

John Ashbery   But then it dawned on me  that if

I stopped trying to read for meaning  I would glean

your code    The human mind craves knowing

 

Knowing if there is a jaguar in the bushes  restless for

my sprackled skin + plump calves  (no they are not)

I will make a boney breakfast  +he will have to eat my

shrunken brother too

 

You died yesterday at 90  so now your poetry about the:

experience of the experience  has died too   They say there

are zillions of pretenders to your throne   But I footnoted

you   And though I may steal from Shakespeare outright

Never you   (except for today’s title which I bastardized)

 

My own self portrait is in the midst of a make-over John

Soul about to do back flips after scunnered by so much grief

New face almost unrecognizable   Especially when in the throes

of denial re: a recurring dream  of some 50+ years    One is

tempted not to go there   but much more tempted to

 

My husband has developed a fondness for our nanny    In the

emptiness of late afternoon   And has left me   She is now having

their 3rd baby   And when I awake +tell him this  there is an interest

He says: After I read your poems I am always a bit puzzled

 

Later when I drive by the café where he was to have been   I think of

John Ashbery  scrunched into the interstices between heaven+earth

His dark trousers + silver hair  full of dirt   And of how we will all have

to get along without each other now

__

TARPAULIN

Easing the thing

Into spurts of activity

Before the emptiness of late afternoon

Is a kind of will power

Blaring back its received vision

From a thousand tenement windows

Just before night

Its signal fading

 

No one has the last laugh.

 

(RIP  John Ashbery   Self Portait In A Convex Mirror  1975)

(PulitzerPrize   National Book Award   National Book Critics Award

Griffin Poetry Prize)

 

 

Fall  2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s