The first typescript

[Page 3]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 3


I'm going. It can escape me.
When we look through a railway tunnel, it looks as though the way out
At the other end were smaller than the way in at this;
But we know they are of the same size.
The lines of brass round the key-hole follow the same rules.
The lines that draw nearer together are said to "vanish."
The point where they meet is their vanishing point.dele

Objects, as they recede, appear to become smaller.
All horizontal receding lines have their vanishing point upon the line of sight.

The receding lines of the road, the grass edges, the walls--
All parallel lines xxxxxx retiring lines have the same vanishing point as each other.dele
The front of the farmhouse is so much foreshortened.
The white feathers of chickens in the snow seem outlined in gray or black.
The frozen pump's encrusted with ice which seems gray-blue against the white of the snow.
The lamp casts monstrous shadows.
The most difficult of all is an arrangement of hawthorn leaves in different tones of color.
The leaves can easily be obtained in different tones of color.dele
Upon the benzine bottle put the ro XXX rubber stopper that has the metal nozzledele
And join the bellows and the tubing. Now lightdele
Your alcohol lamp, and in its flame hold with your headxxxx right hand the platinum point,dele
And with your leftXXXX head work the bulb steadily and continuously.dele
All flies upward. My gosh, white scraps
From the scrap-basket, that were the snow-chickens
Fly upward as to some ceiling-roost, covered with platinum dust.
The rooster screaming among the grape and hawthorn leaves is upeneded.
A shallow wooden drawer shot open; what looked like shallow, dust-covered wooden discs spilled out on the turkey carpet
Whose linted scarlet threads adhered to the porous surface.
The color will have penetrated the muslin and gone a little way into the willXXXX wooldele
Still irregular grayish patches still stood out on the dust-covered part of the surface
Contrasting with the dark of the newly-stretched pleats, like a dark delta in some flat, sandy river valley;
An illusion destroyed by the ham-shaped flecks of leaves spotting the regular surface
(You will find that leaves are not alike in the character of the surface: some are covered with hairs, like the mulleins; or have a strong smell; these will take almost any quality of color.                 quantitydele
Perhaps you had better begin upon such leaves.) So it was thaXXXXXXXXXXXXX The spilled threadsdele
Merged upward with the moan of the leaves; the teakettle boiler emitted one last small white puffdele
From the spilled threads of the workbasket a kind of wap emergedAAoAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAdele
of steam                                       steam enginedele

As I sat watching the child's indifference
The rest was handed to me, on condition that I make no signdele
Of the sea mating to embellish with landdele
On condition that the weight of the testimony pass from minddele
Into oblivionXXXXXXXX marriagedele
The sea decided to embellish with landdele
Shudders of the young polyhphonist. The economy of feardele
Blazes our nights with spectral thunder.

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