John Ashbery
Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror by John Ashbery

Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror by John Ashbery

As Parmigianino did it, the right hand Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer And swerving easily away, as though to protect What it advertises. A few leaded panes, old ...

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Wet Casements by John Ashbery

Wet Casements by John Ashbery

When Eduard Raban, coming along the passage, walked into theopen doorway, he saw that it was raining. It was not raining much. KAFKA, ...

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Just Walking Around by John Ashbery

Just Walking Around by John Ashbery

What name do I have for you? Certainly there is not name for youIn the sense that the stars have namesThat somehow fit them. Just walking around, An object of curiosity to some, ...

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Farm Implements And Rutabagas In A Landscape by John Ashbery

Farm Implements And Rutabagas In A Landscape by John Ashbery

The first of the undecoded messages read: "Popeye sits in thunder,Unthought of. From that shoebox of an apartment,From livid curtain's hue, a tangram emerges: a ...

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Into The Dusk-Charged Air by John Ashbery

Into The Dusk-Charged Air by John Ashbery

Far from the Rappahannock, the silentDanube moves along toward the sea.The brown and green Nile rolls slowlyLike the Niagara's welling descent.Tractors stood on the green banks of ...

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Poem At The New Year by John Ashbery

Poem At The New Year by John Ashbery

Once, out on the water in the clear, early nineteenth-century twilight, you asked time to suspend its flight. If wishes could beget more than sobs, that would be my wish for you, ...

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For John Clare by John Ashbery

For John Clare by John Ashbery

Kind of empty in the way it sees everything, the earth gets to its feet andsalutes the sky. More of a success at it this time than most others it is. The feeling that the sky ...

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Daffy Duck In Hollywood by John Ashbery

Daffy Duck In Hollywood by John Ashbery

Something strange is creeping across me.La Celestina has only to warble the first few barsOf "I Thought about You" or something mellow fromAmadigi di Gaula for everything--a ...

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My Erotic Double by John Ashbery

My Erotic Double by John Ashbery

He says he doesn't feel like working today. It's just as well. Here in the shade Behind the house, protected from street noises, One can go over all kinds of old feeling, Throw ...

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Steel and Air by John Ashbery

Steel and Air by John Ashbery

And now I cannot remember how I wouldhave had it. It is not a conduit (confluence?) but a place.The place, of movement and an order.The place of old order.But the tail end of the ...

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Dramedy by John Ashbery

Dramedy by John Ashbery

Things I left on your paper:one of the craziest episodes that ever overtook me.Do you like espionage? A watered charm?My pod cast aside, I'll walk in the human street,protect the ...

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Rivers and Mountains by John Ashbery

Rivers and Mountains by John Ashbery

On the secret map the assassins Cloistered, the Moon River was marked Near the eighteen peaks and the city Of humiliation and defeat—wan ending Of the trail among dry, ...

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Hotel Lautreamont by John Ashbery

Hotel Lautreamont by John Ashbery

1.Research has shown that ballads were produced by all of societyworking as a team. They didn't just happen. There was no guesswork.The people, then, knew what they wanted and how ...

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Soonest Mended by John Ashbery

Soonest Mended by John Ashbery

Barely tolerated, living on the marginIn our technological society, we were always having to be rescued On the brink of destruction, like heroines in Orlando FuriosoBefore it ...

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The Dong With The Luminous Nose by John Ashbery

The Dong With The Luminous Nose by John Ashbery

Within a windowed niche of that high hallI wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.I shall rush out as I am, and walk the streetThe lights begin to twinkle from the rocksFrom camp ...

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Glazunoviana by John Ashbery

Glazunoviana by John Ashbery

The man with the red hatAnd the polar bear, is he here too? The window giving on shade, Is that here too? And all the little helps, My initials in the sky, The hay of an arctic ...

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Pantoum by John Ashbery

Pantoum by John Ashbery

Eyes shining without mystery,Footprints eager for the pastThrough the vague snow of many clay pipes,And what is in store?Footprints eager for the pastThe usual obtuse blanket.And ...

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The Instruction Manual by John Ashbery

The Instruction Manual by John Ashbery

As I sit looking out of a window of the buildingI wish I did not have to write the instruction manual on the uses of a new metal.I look down into the street and see people, each ...

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Street Musicians by John Ashbery

Street Musicians by John Ashbery

One died, and the soul was wrenched out Of the other in life, who, walking the streets Wrapped in an identity like a coat, sees on and on The same corners, volumetrics, ...

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Syringa by John Ashbery

Syringa by John Ashbery

Orpheus liked the glad personal qualityOf the things beneath the sky. Of course, Eurydice was a partOf this. Then one day, everything changed. He rendsRocks into fissures with ...

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Vetiver by John Ashbery

Vetiver by John Ashbery

Ages passed slowly, like a load of hay, As the flowers recited their lines And pike stirred at the bottom of the pond. The pen was cool to the touch. The staircase swept upward ...

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My Philosophy Of Life by John Ashbery

My Philosophy Of Life by John Ashbery

Just when I thought there wasn't room enoughfor another thought in my head, I had this great idea--call it a philosophy of life, if you will.Briefly,it involved living the way ...

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This Room by John Ashbery

This Room by John Ashbery

The room I entered was a dream of this room. Surely all those feet on the sofa were mine. The oval portrait of a dog was me at an early age. Something shimmers, something is ...

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Uptick by John Ashbery

Uptick by John Ashbery

We were sitting there, and I made a joke about how it doesn't dovetail: time, one minute running out faster than the one in front it catches up to. That way, I said, ...

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The Problem of Anxiety by John Ashbery

The Problem of Anxiety by John Ashbery

Fifty years have passedsince I started living in those dark townsI was telling you about.Well, not much has changed. I still can't figure outhow to get from the post office to the ...

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Late Echo by John Ashbery

Late Echo by John Ashbery

Alone with our madness and favorite flower We see that there really is nothing left to write about. Or rather, it is necessary to write about the same old things In the same way, ...

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Like a Sentence by John Ashbery

Like a Sentence by John Ashbery

How little we know, and when we know it! It was prettily said that "No man hath an abundance of cows on the plain, nor shards in his cupboard." Wait! I think I know who said ...

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Leave the Hand In by John Ashbery

Leave the Hand In by John Ashbery

Furthermore, Mr. Tuttle used to have to run in the streets. Now, each time friendship happens, they're fully booked. Sporting with amaryllis in the shade is all fine and good, ...

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Late-ish by John Ashbery

Late-ish by John Ashbery

The girl in the green ski chasublehasn't yet graduated from radio school.Let's pay attention.Looking ahead, why, he waved his mouth along.Doesn't life get difficult in the ...

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El Dorado by John Ashbery

El Dorado by John Ashbery

We have a friend in common, the retired sophomore. His concern: that I shall get it like that, in the right and righter of a green bush chomping on future considerations. In ...

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The Mauve Notebook by John Ashbery

The Mauve Notebook by John Ashbery

"Say it enough times and it's August."—Geoffrey G. O'Brien, "Three Years"On a set you need bush rebels,that numbing little chair while passing.If we knock 'em outseven precincts ...

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Mean Particles by John Ashbery

Mean Particles by John Ashbery

Sometimes something like a secondwashes the base of this street.The father and his two assistantsare given permission to go.One of them, a woman, asks, "Whydid we come here in the ...

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Alms for the Beekeeper by John Ashbery

Alms for the Beekeeper by John Ashbery

He makes better errors that way.Pass it around at breakfast:the family and all, down there with a proximate sense of power,lawyering up. Less log-heavy, your text-strategybeat out ...

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The Painter by John Ashbery

The Painter by John Ashbery

Sitting between the sea and the buildings He enjoyed painting the sea's portrait. But just as children imagine a prayer Is merely silence, he expected his subject To rush up the ...

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A Worldly Country by John Ashbery

A Worldly Country by John Ashbery

Not the smoothness, not the insane clocks on the square,the scent of manure in the municipal parterre,not the fabrics, the sullen mockery of Tweety Bird,not the fresh troops that ...

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These Lacustrine Cities by John Ashbery

These Lacustrine Cities by 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 ...

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Anticipated Stranger by John Ashbery

Anticipated Stranger by John Ashbery

The bruise will stop by later.For now, the pain pauses in its round,notes the time of day, the patient's temperature,leaves a memo for the surrogate: What the helldid you think ...

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Pyrography by John Ashbery

Pyrography by John Ashbery

Out here on Cottage Grove it matters. The galloping Wind balks at its shadow. The carriages Are drawn forward under a sky of fumed oak. This is America calling: The mirroring of ...

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The Bungalows by John Ashbery

The Bungalows by John Ashbery

Impatient as we were for all of them to join us, The land had not yet risen into view: gulls had swept the gray steel towers away So that it profited less to go searching, away ...

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People Behaving Badly a Concern by John Ashbery

People Behaving Badly a Concern by John Ashbery

Aggressive panhandling, public urination, verbal threats,public nudity and violation of the open container lawfollowed us down the days, for whyare we here much longer,or even ...

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Chinese Whispers by John Ashbery

Chinese Whispers by John Ashbery

And in a little while we broke under the strain: suppurations ad nauseam, the wanting to be taller, though it‘s simply about being mysterious, i.e., not taller, like any ...

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By Guess and by Gosh by John Ashbery

By Guess and by Gosh by John Ashbery

O awaken with methe inquiring goodbyes.Ooh what a messy businessa tangle and a muddle(and made it seem quite interesting).He ticks them off:leisure top,a different ride ...

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Day Bump by John Ashbery

Day Bump by John Ashbery

Whether the harborline or the east shorelineconsummated it was nobody's biz until you got there,eyelids ashimmer, content with one more dispensationfrom blue above. And just like ...

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Last Month by John Ashbery

Last Month by John Ashbery

No changes of support—only Patches of gray, here where sunlight fell. The house seems heavier Now that they have gone away. In fact it emptied in record time. When the flat ...

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How to Continue by John Ashbery

How to Continue by John Ashbery

Oh there once was a woman and she kept a shop selling trinkets to tourists not far from a dock who came to see what life could be far back on the island. And it was always a party ...

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Meaningful Love by John Ashbery

Meaningful Love by John Ashbery

What the bad news wasbecame apparent too latefor us to do anything good about it.I was offered no urgent dreaming,didn't need a name or anything.Everything was taken care of.In ...

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The New Higher by John Ashbery

The New Higher by John Ashbery

You meant more than life to me. I lived throughyou not knowing, not knowing I was living.I learned that you called for me. I came to whereyou were living, up a stair. There was no ...

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A Voice from the Fireplace by John Ashbery

A Voice from the Fireplace by John Ashbery

Like a windup denture in a joke storefate approaches, leans quietly. Let's see . . .There was moreover meaning in the last clause,meaning we couldn't equatefrom what was happening ...

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And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name by John Ashbery

And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name by John Ashbery

You can't say it that way any more. Bothered about beauty you have to Come out into the open, into a clearing, And rest. Certainly whatever funny happens to you Is OK. To ...

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Blueprints and Others by John Ashbery

Blueprints and Others by John Ashbery

The man across the street seems happy,or pleased. Sometimes a porter evades the grounds.After you play a lot with the militaryyou are my own best customer.I've done five of ...

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