It’s dull, no realism. A no-color. To what formlessness have we committed? How I am fond of it blew off the pensive boarder hunkered amid lilacs, a hoverer, as meat loves salt. Such scenes are not at all uncommon in this world of decent gin, this midden whose ungodly stench plunders all inserts of a keepable diary. Why do they call them stones? Swapping and cheating are as a labor of love for all concerned. I try to read some sense into the minutes but am usually rebuffed, as scorched linen yells at the ironing board’s syllabus of intrigue. Sooner or later we send them packing, and they leave us—it’s so simple? Don’t you love it? Ask later whether we and they were loved. Someone should know. In 150, 160 years they’ll be beholden, you bet. And not knowing what those others want has all along been a jiffy. The shelf’s cancelled. Then I became as one who followed. From the Adriatic to the Antarctic, my footsteps cast incredibly long shadows, though that’s not for you to macerate. Or masticate. I who matriculated am perhaps to be a lover unto you through the unabated storm’s portholes—dear, we’re here because he asked us to wait some more.
© 2000 John Ashbery