Tuesday, March 24, 2015

They Emerged Until a Tower Controlled the Sky, and with Artifice Dipped Back into the Past for Swans and Tapering Branches

Richard sent me an email last night about the time I was falling asleep: what are the logistics for meeting up before we see Swans tomorrow night. Swans tomorrow night? Oh, right, YAY! Tickets (free - I'll buy) still available for those of you who won't be joining us. Again, I can be the taxi from DC.


John Ashbery

These lacustrine cities grew out of loathing
Into something forgetful, although angry with history.
They are the product of an idea: that man is horrible, for instance,   
Though this is only one example.

They emerged until a tower
Controlled the sky, and with artifice dipped back
Into the past for swans and tapering branches,
Burning, until all that hate was transformed into useless love.

Then you are left with an idea of yourself
And the feeling of ascending emptiness of the afternoon   
Which must be charged to the embarrassment of others   
Who fly by you like beacons.

The night is a sentinel.
Much of your time has been occupied by creative games
Until now, but we have all-inclusive plans for you.
We had thought, for instance, of sending you to the middle of the desert,

To a violent sea, or of having the closeness of the others be air   
To you, pressing you back into a startled dream
As sea-breezes greet a child’s face.
But the past is already here, and you are nursing some private project.

The worst is not over, yet I know
You will be happy here. Because of the logic
Of your situation, which is something no climate can outsmart.   
Tender and insouciant by turns, you see

You have built a mountain of something,
Thoughtfully pouring all your energy into this single monument,   
Whose wind is desire starching a petal,
Whose disappointment broke into a rainbow of tears.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy Swans. As a member in fairly long- if not good- standing in the not-for-gain blegging community, thanks again and often for noticing and linking to my eclectic, artisanal site. I still have no idea why I continue to do it.