Unpublished poems and fragments from the first typescript:



One typescript page (black and blue ribbon), letter format. Undated.

No correction except for the original title.

According to John Ashbery (personal communication, June 21, 2012), this poem was written in collaboration with Kenneth Koch. It is part of a series of poems based on formal constraints (here, for each line: a child star, movie or cartoon character, an architectural structure, and a weather event) — cf., in the same section, “Cleopatra's Last Class” for another example of constraint-based collaborative poem.

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

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The Baby Leroy rain crushed the station with love.
Caesarion skipped into the barn. Happy snow demolished him,
And fog entered the Bonita Granville gazebo in surprise
At the Dickie Moore coliseum whose heatwave, in the shyness
Of the Ganymede silo typhoon, doubted the permanence
Of the hailstone cloister where Jane Withers was feeling glum.
The electric "Baby Stuart Garage" sign blinked off in wrath as thexxx the slush distilled
The Dan Cupid dust storm warehouse with a groan of tenderness.
The Little Mary Mixup icehouse was perforated with mist and worry
But when SeeXXX Swee' Pea swept the fog out of the medieval castle, it was perforated with ecstasy.
The frost of hope melted the Skippy igloo.
Charlie Brown stood in the aviary chatting joyfully with the humidity.
Young Tom Edison came out of the shed. He wiped the smog from his face. An expression of pity fell on it.
The Bonnie Prince Charley birdhouses on Hatred Street smelled overcast
And the Aiglon's resentment inflated the hospital like a breeze.
Raggedy Ann was thrilled by the lightning in the geodesic dome
And flunked out of Marcia Mae Jones Thermometer School with a hurricane of contempt.
Chartres Cathedral smiled horrifiedly at the Nathalia Crane thunder
And the Frankie Darro turrets collapsed before the fury of the advancing squall.
Skeezix, however, stayed inside the gas station, glaring sullenly at the disappearing monsoon.