The first typescript

[Page 1]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 1

1             dele
pinchball Some sounds, of course, it is almost impossible to reduce to writing, as, for example, the hollow "skaw" and murmur produced by a multitude of skaters, or the roar of an excited crowd, but in listening to these sounds, it is useful to remember that we may often obtain a key tone to work onxx upon by closing the ears--just as a  


The Skaters painter can often find the prevailing
A poem in five     parts  tint of a confused mass of objects dele
 Part  ChapteXXXXXXr 1 by partly closing the eyes." dele
Three Hundred Things 
Description of the actual scene. Abe. His way with children. First digression: Portrait of a Spendthrift. His bad habits. Nobody to help him. "Only a mother could ever love a guy like that." Possibility of happiness in another world. Life after death--a possibility? A kind of musical night is invoked. The poet thinks of friends and other people he has known. Abe again. A child's devotion. Penmanship. The forest at dawn. At sunset. The natural habits of animals. Instinct it general. Can animals think? What makes the human brain tick? Second digression: Wind and its Effects. Parabolas. Return of a beloved likened to the lengthening season. Paris. The Skaters' Waltz. Her handout. "Weasel-face." Dandruff and what to do about it. Leaves of the Ginko tree. Photo. Phantom Poodles. "I have to watch Charlotte." Cremated Alive. Silkworms. The Points. The man in the hall. The Critique of Pure Resin. "Blue-bottles drive me crazy!" Good-bye. Bubble Balloons.dele
and became      dele
These      decubels xxxxxxxxx decibels quite       dele
Are a kind of flagellation, an entity of sound expert      
Into which being enters, and is it      
Their colors on a warm February day
Make for masses of inertia, and hips
Prod out of the violet-seeming into a new kind
Of demand that stumps the absolute because not new
In the sense of the next one in an infinite series
But, as it were, pre-existing or pre-seeming in
Such a way as to contrast funnily with the unexpectedness
And somehow push us all into perdition.

Here a scarf flies, there an excited call is heard.

The answer is that it is novelty
That guides these swift blades oer the ice
Projects into a finer expression (but at the expense
Of energy) the profile I cannot remember.
Colors slip away from and chide us. The human mind
Cannot retain anything except perhaps the dismal two-note theme
Of some sodden "dump" or lament.  (Leave in).dele

The feet of the animals
Scrape the ground.

There is meaning in the evident mastery
Of someone who tries to show you the trick in such a way as will be understandable to all