Sunday, June 20, 2010

John Ashbery's Flow Chart, first lines

Restarting Ashbery's "Flow Chart" this morning, the opening lines mirror my feelings on the state of book publishing (and my place in it):

Still in the published city but not yet
overtaken by a new form of despair, I ask
the diagram: is it the foretaste of pain
it might easily be? Or an emptiness
so sudden it leaves the girders
whanging in the absence of wind,
the sky milk-blue and astringent? We know life is so busy,
but a larger activity shrouds it, and this is something
we can never feel, except occasionally, in small signs
put up to warn us and as soon expunged, in part
or wholly . . .

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