The first typescript

[Page 7]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 7


But the livery of the year, changing airdele
Brings each to his turn. Leaving phrases unfinisheddele
Gestures half-sketched against woodsmoke.Now oozes the abundant sapdele
And in girls' throats the sticky words, half-uttered, half undesireddele
SpreadXX annual unction. A blanket unbeliefdele
Quickly supplanted by idle questions that fade in turn.dele
Slowly the moods turns to look at itself in the mirror of an urchindele
Left by some road-bed... New schemes are gotten up, new taxes,dele
Earthworks spring up apace. Now all-conquering Soldele
gilds each new found reason with the celluloid coating of truthdele
And girls wake up in it.dele
                          For these reasonsdele
It is best not leave the house. Because there isdele
Error in the exactness of air. As flames are fanned, so the wishful thinking arisesdele
That bears its own prophets, pointed refusals. And as a wishdele
Settles down at the end of along spring day, over smudged heather and watered shoot, and dried rush fielddele
So fatal error gushes, ap ap XXXXXXXXXXXXXX is plaited into thoughts still unborn.dele
The pose must be resumed. Is it being falsifieddele
To be forever involved, tragically, with one's own image?dele