The first typescript

[Page 6]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 6

6      Bdele

Seemed it to the horse, dragging the sledge of a perspective line.
Dim banners in the distance, to die... And nothing put to rights.
EllenCarol wondered at the pigs in their cages,dele

At so much snow, but it is to be littered with waste and ashes
So that cathedrals may grow. Out of this spring builds a tolerable fair XXXXXdele
Affair of brushwood, the sea is felt behind the oak wands, noiselessly pouring.
Spring with its promise of winter, and the black ivy once again
On the porch, its yellow perspective bands in place
And the horse nears them and weeps.

So much has passed through my mind this morning
That I can give you but a dim account of it:                       many things
First the plasterers, the pen with maying sheavesXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX and the din of so much to be done,dele
And the holly gatherersXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX On account of so short a time, the noon          dismaying
whistle has already blown
Some minutes ago, and it is already after lunch. The men are returning to their positions around the cement mixer
And I try to sort out what has happened to me. The bundle of Gerard's letters
And that alXX awful bit of news buried on the back page of yesterday's paper.dele
Then the news of you, this morning, in the snow. Sometimes the interval
of bad news is so brisk that... And the human brain, with its tray of images
Seems a sorcerer's magic lantern, projecting black and orange cellophane shadows
On the distance of my hand... The very reaction's pursey puny,dele
And when we seek to move around, wondering what arXX our position is now, what the arm of that chair.dele

A great wind lifted these cardboard panels
Horizontal in the air. At once the perspective with the horse
Disappeared in a bigarrure of squiggly lines. The image with the crocodile in it became no longer apparent.
Thus a great wind cleanses, as a new ruler
Edits new laws, sweeping the very breath of the streets
Into posterior tashXXXX trash. The films have changed--dele
The great titles on the scalloped awnings have turned dry and blight-colored.
No wind that does not penetrate a man's house, into the very bowels of the furnace
Scratching in dust a name on the mirror--say, and what about letters,
The dried grasses, fruits of the winter--gosh! Everything is trash!
Thus wind points to the advantages of decay
At the same time as removing them far from the sight of men.
The regent of the winds, Aeolous, is a symbol for all earthly potentates
Since holding this sickening, festering, process by which we are cleansed
Of afterthought.
                  A gril sloXXXXXXXX girl slowly descended the sin XXXX line of steps.dele

The wind and treason are partners, turning secrets over to the military pooiXXXX police.dele

The whitest police that came in your night, bringing snow to the parched DHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHdele

Lengthening arches. The intensity of minor acts. As skaters elaborate their distances,
Taking a separate line to its end. Returning to the mass, they join each other
Blotted in an indescribable exceptional mess of dark colors, and again reappearing to take the themedele
Some little distance, like fishing boats developing from the land different parabolas,
Taking the exquisite theme far, into farness, to Land's End, to the very ends of the earth!.