1680 - I see, said the blind man,
As he put down his hammer and saw

There is some charm in that old music
He'd fall for when the night wind released it:
Pleasant to be away; the stones fall back;
The hill of gloom in place over the roar
Of the kitchens but with remembrance like a bright patch
Of red in a bunch of laundry. But will the car
Ever pull away and spunky at all times he'd
Got the mission between the ladder
And the slices of bread someone had squirted astrology over
Until it took the form of a man, obtuse, out of pocket
Perhaps, probably standing there.

Can't you see how we need these far-from-restful pauses?
And in the wind neighbors and such agree
It's a hard thing, a milestone of sorts in some way?
So that the curtains contribute what charm they can
To the spectacle: an overflowing cesspool
Among the memoirs of court life, the candy, cigarettes,
And what else. What kind is it, is there more than one
Kind, are people forever going to be at the edge
Of things, even the nice ones, and when it happens
Will we all be alone together? The armor
Of these thoughts laughs at itself
Yet the distances are always growing
With everything between, in between
The tall hedges that seem to know what life is:
An offering that stands to one side. And we dream.

(John Ashbery)


© José Pacheco Pereira
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