Monday, April 9, 2007

The Problem of Anxiety

John Ashbery (1997)

Fifty years have passed
since I started living in those dark towns
I was telling you about.
Well, not much has changed. I still can't figure out
how to get from the post office to the swings in the park.
Apple trees blossom in the cold, not out of conviction,
and my hair is the color of dandelion fuzz.

Suppose this poem were about you—would you
put in the things I've carefully left out:
descriptions of pain, and sex, and how shiftily
people behave toward each other? Naw, that's
all in some book it seems. For you
I've saved the descriptions of finger sandwiches,
and the glass eye that stares at me in amazement
from the bronze mantel, and will never be appeased.

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