Late Ashbery

Every day I complete some grand task or other and then settle back
Into a more or less comfortable routine, surrounded by weird
Activities and people who say y'all. The obscurity has worn off
My style like flakes of paint off Wallace Stevens greenhouse,
Until even my admirers understand me. Don't get me wrong,
There is no cause for dissatisfaction in this pliant yet supple
Syntax, this sinuous mudbucket, yet if I persist in my complaint
I shall not stand naked before you for long without turning the corner
Of insolent and feverish beneficence. Did that make sense?
Enough of this idle chatter, there are things to be accomplished
In other poems that I will write tomorrow, or other days perhaps,
Identical to this not very difficult text, in all essential matters,
Yet with enough variation in the odd adjective or twisted
Intention so as to leave my unlikely fame curiously intact,
An unopened gift from a century past. The key is not to
Disturb the decorative equilibrium and thus pass unnoticed
Into the shadows.

Goodbye for now.

Write "Ellavon" at
Editor: Robert Basil. Special thanks to June Denbigh, Ray Szeto, and the Raylock Design Group.
Copyright retained by all contributors.

Released: March 1, 1998