Unpublished poems and fragments from the first typescript:

The American


One typescript page, letter format (watermark: “Extra Strong”). Undated.

Two correction campaigns: blue ball-point pen and lead pencil.

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, “The American”

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 The American dele
Theme and Variationsdele

A man was going home to wash his feet
And in the doorway he thought about his toes.

The man marched home to wash his feet.dele
In the stone doorway he paused, remembering the toes.

The obelisk seized the air with its point.
And at its base stood an clever undressed mandele
Gushed over by the waters of the base.
The point is a mistake. But in the homely waters grew refractions.dele
Impressions Reflectionsdele

The shoes marched over stone pavementdele
At home the acres of hot water were waiting.    leave in?dele

The stone shore marched over itself
The hot pavement mud of the cleansing shore
In which it grew one tower
To unlike itself in the disturbed distances
The lye places a mud hand around
Sand-blossom too pale to be a flower
In the real dirt of a country yet dying of it--dele
A country beside the sand.

The strangled sea urchin gasped beside thedele
Mud plant tide. Nine o'clock.dele
And the hot mud they threw from the towerdele

The plants grew. In their area they waited
Not growing, just being
What they had been. In this way
Orchids devour men and are less,      indele
Their behavior less. All that matters is getting away from it.dele

It is time to pass from theory to effect.dele
In matters of hygiene the demand is XKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKXKdele
Important XKXKXKXKXK In serious cases of hygienedele
Such as the eskimos, the helplessness is importantdele
To be lived      aredele
Man and his feet the-unembarrassed yearningdele
For better apology of the giant flowers,dele
Weeps, on the bank of the riverdele
Carrying the dirt away,. Tto the westdele
The somber wooded line plunges
Under the nap of mud. Only rarelydele
Rocks point in the plains. Thick tower
Cold decomposed soildele
Confined little by little to the valleys  invisiblydele
Beyond the somber territory slopes insibly toward the seadele
The eye will no longer have to stop
At but a few sand[???]XXX mountainsdele
In the low spreading plains