Two Poems

John Ashbery

The Goofiad

Um, it wasn’t my project
to prise them apart.
Pale Jessica had come full circle.
Case in point: she spelled one application
under presidential law. How it became
one of the names one can’t recall.

But on the other hand
good old people
watch the convention.
It’s guaranteed,
and not be president.
People had yet to live

and believe your own cameras
which it probably isn’t going to,
picking up the same thing. Premium hype,
it’s off-ladle. While out driving in my car
repeating both of them,
we’ll pull together and,
kind of interesting
that I heard you fix a lot more concentrated …

It was all anybody could do.
The garter store fell through the cracks,
or if there was another way
I didn’t know you were ticklish –
with a little note which said
Sing something subtle and insinuating.
Aunts go to jail.
On the facial committee equipment,
a woman by the name of Lottie Timms.

This is the traditional way not to kiss at all.

A Greeting to My Brothers and Some of My Brothers-in-Law

The chic flatness of memory
takes the arctic brotherhood to task.
Where’d you get it at?
Don’t think of it yet.
Awake in the shadow of the school’s cactus garden
you have all of the handcuffs,
bracelets, whatever,
like the exploding manhole covers of Skopje.

How open was it?
To here a former first lady,
the victims were visited too and
down there for ten days without a punchline.
He’s only got seven kids and none of these are tea drinkers.
Restrictions led the way,
then grunge too passed, leaving a dimpled wake
much prized by amateurs.
What to reoffer? Wow.
Suddenly a giant snowflake pierced the trellis
thirty-five minutes ago, trapped in honey.

So.
You’ve been asleep
because he remembers it.
Now I’m supposed to be here.