Bunch of Stuff

By John Ashbery b. 1927 John Ashbery
To all events I squirted you
knowing this not to be this came to pass
when we were out and it looked good.
Why wouldn’t you want a fresh piece
of outlook to stand in down the years?
See, your house, a former human energy construction,
crashed with us for a few days in May
and sure enough, the polar inscape
brought about some easier poems,
which I guessed was a good thing. At least
some of us were relaxed, Steamboat Bill included.

He didn’t drink nothing.
It was one thing
to be ready for their challenge, quite another to accept it.
And if I had a piece of advice for you, this is it:
Poke fun at balm, then suffer lethargy
to irradiate its shallow flood in the new packaging
our enemies processed. They should know.

The Gold Dust Twins never stopped supplicating Hoosiers
to limn the trail. There’s no Shakespeare.
Through the window, Casanova.
Couldn’t get to sleep in the dumb incident
of those days, crimping the frozen feet of Lincoln.

Source: Poetry (September 2014).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

September 2014
 John  Ashbery

Biography

John Ashbery is recognized as one of the greatest twentieth-century American poets. He has won nearly every major American award for poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Yale Younger Poets Prize, the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Griffin International Award, and a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Ashbery's poetry challenges its readers to discard all presumptions about the aims, themes, . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Life Choices, Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

SCHOOL / PERIOD New York School

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.