A bunch of stuff. Junk mail. Dead toilets.
No one needs to know pretty much about
that attitude I suppose. And a hundred others.
The inmates are running the asylum.
The humming of great machines soars above the plain.
We are sorry. We never meant
to do harm. Sunlight crashed through the veil,
pulled the mud out from under him.
Whether that explains the treaty of
this or that spring wardrobe is still unknown.
John Ashbery’s most recent collection of poems is Planisphere (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2009). His Collected Poems 1956 – 1987 was published in 2008 by Library of America, and his translation of Arthur Rimbaud’s Illuminations was recently published by Norton. The first solo exhibition of his collages was held in 2008 at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery (New York), where his new collages will be on exhibit from October 20 through December 3, 2011.
© Copyright John Ashbery, 2011. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc.