Saturday, October 13, 2018

To Embellish That as Though Life Were a Party

  • I only write about what I always write about and anything spun of worth spins from there.
  • Copying and pasting from Neverote blows.
  • Reading Murnane again, Barley Patch, the only novelist I seem currently capable of reading, when I try someone else I find myself three forgotten pages later thinking of Murnane.
  • Murnane says over and over in every one of his fictions he learned early as a child he hasn't the imagination as imagination is imagined in authors who claim to know what their characters think.
  • I know my own tenets make this inevitable, and I don't know, will never know, if Murnane read Ashbery and visa versa, but they are synoptic gospels re: my coding.
  • I forget how I got to The Specials Do the Dog between the previous sentence and this sentence but it pleases me I'm learning to not worry why.


John Ashbery

At first it came easily, with the knowledge of the shadow line
Picking its way through various landscapes before coming
To stand far from you, to bless you incidentally
In sorting out what was best for it, and most suitable,

Like snow having second thoughts and coming back
To be wary about this, to embellish that, as though life were a party
At which work got done. So we wiggled in our separate positions
And stayed in them for a time. After something has passed

You begin to see yourself as you would look to yourself on a stage,
Appearing to someone. But to whom? Ah, that’s just it,
To have the manners, and the look that comes from having a secret
Isn’t enough. But that “not enough” isn’t to be worn like a livery,

To be briefly noticed, yet among whom should it be seen? I haven’t
Thought about these things in years; that’s my luck.
In time even the rocks will grow. And if you have curled and dandled
Your innocence once too often, what attitude isn’t then really yours?

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