Wednesday, October 27, 2004

You know, we shouldn't take John Ashbery for granted. He won't always be with us. Here's an excerpt from a prose poem of his in the new APR called "Coma Berenices":
The battlefront heat had been singeing everybody's nerves. Maria, badly of, had complained of backache. The arcane arousing had taken place on schedule. Then the arraignment was ascendant. The executive expectation, expecting expression, expectorated artwork, i.e., visual arts. The work of art had not arrived.

"Cut the mustard, curvaceous. This cutthroat-dance can't continue forever. I was downtown, saw your image enthroned above the city, through the grille, dilatory; apes and aphids continued pouring into the place. Soon we'll be looking at calmer quarters, a jar of moonshine reflecting the moon as in days gone by." Those were my sentiments too.
Sometimes I forget what a wonderful ear the man has. The fact of Ashbery's popularity, or at any rate his canonicity, tickles me greatly. How did such a manifestly strange writer become mainstream? There is hope for us all.

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