John Ashbery (1927- )
As We Know (1979)
Something I read once
In some poem reminded me of it:
The dark, wet street
(It gets dark at seven now)
Gleaming, ecstatic, with the thin spear
Of faerie trumpet-calls. A lullaby
That is an exclamation.
It cannot be found
As when the whole sky shifts and stays
Where it is until the next time.
Like a summer job in a department store
It stays on and on,
Breaking up the moments, hiding
Taking whatever is there away from us.
Its temperature is darkness,
Its taste, the silent, bitter welcome
On the edge of the forest
When you were starting to reach home.
Also, too much is written
About it, as though each time
Were starting from zero toward an imaginary
Number. No one sees it's
Just the evening news, mostly,
A translation into the light of day,
or two fiddles scraping along
Out of kindness, you think, but
To whom? In short, any kind of tame
Manifestation against the straw
Of darkness and the darkening trees
Until the aftertaste claimed it.