The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

By John Ashbery

Please don't apologize for pissing me off, you were
probably right, and I was halfway out the door
anyway, the living-room door, leading to the hall
and all it contains. How is it that things can get
shiny and be peeling simultaneously? Seriously, Pa,
we would have come over if we'd knowed
the combination for long, and then folks'd have pointed
toward us, miming birdsong and the like.
It was too short a time to have wrapped many pensées in
but we weren't blighted by that, near the tower.
One who calls in need out of the dusk fancied our
situation but we were not to be perturbed by that, only a little fluted
toward day's indisputable margin. I say, how do you
like it and the bills floating along beside it,
like baby ducks after the mother has moved on to some
important barrier that will rise up like a chapter heading
in later life, when all is pretty much paved over and weeds
have begun to take hold? I said, how long
do you expect it and us to go on nourishing
whatever it is we do nurture. Madness, you implied,
to get so near the torrent and not stumble,
taking all things together, and we do
do that, just don't advertise it.

                                                Come back
another day and I'll have forms for you with the prices,
as well as samples held close to the waist. That sure was
fun the day we took our gum out and the trees lurched
overhead, it was almost like being in a storm with no
clouds around to blame it on. Yes, well, I imagined other
settings for our unease than this. Now I'm mortified.
No you're not, she says, pick up here
where it says lost and join the boys in the harbor,
whether they have water wings or not, just bare chest bones
boring through the gloom and you lean up against one
whose sister is in Arcady and it plops the question
just like that, you old so-and-so, and needs must begone
in any case, though the hour isn't urgent
and the landmass teeters once more, crashing
out of gloaming onto the floor near your heels.


Another from this week's New Yorker.

I had plans to take care of chores outside the house as well as inside the house, but I ended up spending pretty much all day sorting, refolding, and organizing kids' clothes, with exciting breaks for laundry, bed-stripping and remaking, removal of cat hair, putting clothes in bags for VVA pickup, and forcing boys to submit to torture like seeing if certain things still fit them and admitting they have no intention of ever wearing those shirts with collars that they assured Grandma they would wear. At least Adam has a full drawer of sweatpants again, having inherited all the ones Daniel has outgrown, meaning that when he wasn't looking I could throw out all the sweatpants with holes in them.

Otherwise, I am happy to learn that baby owls hatched at the National Zoo; concerned about Mt. Wilson and everything else in the path of the Station Fire, not least of which could be my cousins; and embarrassingly infatuated with Glee, to the horror of the rest of my family. They were warned in advance. Any pilot that works in John Denver, Les Miserables, and "Don't Stop Believin'" in a single hour of television, not to mention features the crazy sex therapist from Boston Legal, Claire's mom from Heroes, and Queen Lucy the Dumbshit from Epic Movie, is definitely bringing me back next week.


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