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By John Ashbery

Thrill of a Romance

It's diversified when you've got hiccups.
every little thing is—so many pleased palms competing
on your realization, a headscarf, a gasp of soot,
or simply a blast of silence from a radio.
what's it? That's that you should study
in your dismay while, on the finish of an extended queue
within the cafeteria, tray in hand, they inform you the gate closed down
after the second one international conflict. Syracuse used to be declared capital
of a kingdom in malaise, however the directorate
had different, hidden ambitions. To proclaim good judgment
a casualty of fact was once one.

Everyone's solitude (and ensuing promiscuity)
perfumed the byways of villages we had concept civilized.
I observed you looking ahead to a streetcar and pressed ahead.
sadly, you have been just a baby in armor. Now whilst ribald toasts
sail around a desk too reasonable laid out, why the results
are just dirt, disorder and outdated age. friendly stories
are only that. So I channel no matter what
into my contingency, a vein of mercury
that retains breaking out, better up, extra on time
each time. Dirndls noticed with out of date flora,
worn within the urban back, advertise open discussion.

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Additional info for A Worldly Country: New Poems

Sample text

The cheap shots you sent us yesterday are back today in force, mouthing with precision whatever wisdom is printed on the wrapper’s verso. Let no one draw strength from that. Our climate turns its face toward the heights again. This would have been a powerful soul adventure in the old calendar. Now it’s just random effusiveness: firecrackers and maybe shots in adjacent streets. Well, have the car sent round while we stumble toward this strange thing: an anomaly. Don’t think the wind is doing you a favor by refusing to die down.

With that, we can pick up and get lost. Far into the night an argument stitches its way. How long can we go on comprehending? A lot, unfortunately. So get a life. It’s been real. I mean really real, like you can’t imagine it. The city was leaving anyway, closing its ranks behind him. Soon no one would remember the boy in dross who used to come and stare through the skateboards at the abandoned furniture warehouses. Nor was this a reproach, not to him for coming 26 with his charts and other paraphernalia, for no one, not even his mother, could figure out what to ask him, or what outlandish reply he would come up with, even if he answered, as indeed he never did.

You rest the same. 53 A Small Table in the Street Less and less sightly, Lord! The cheap shots you sent us yesterday are back today in force, mouthing with precision whatever wisdom is printed on the wrapper’s verso. Let no one draw strength from that. Our climate turns its face toward the heights again. This would have been a powerful soul adventure in the old calendar. Now it’s just random effusiveness: firecrackers and maybe shots in adjacent streets. Well, have the car sent round while we stumble toward this strange thing: an anomaly.

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