The first typescript

[Page 21]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 21

Part III

After the Lesson. The Widows. The Portuguese Man-of-War. Loan Sharks. dele
"Frei aber Einsam." The West Wind.XXXXXXXXXXXXXX If at All. The West Wind. Someone dele
You Have never Seen. Dressed in the Dull Reds and Grays of the Eleventh FHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDDDdele
Century. The Exile. The Study. The Book of Caverns. La Glu. Une CCCCdele
     LaMereX de plus en plus agitee. Golf. Nine. Shadow Buff. The Boat Race. dele
Bommerangs. Saved! The Divine Helmet. Poetry likened to a Bommerang. dele
The Course of Time. Magazine Subscriptions. Card Tricks. How to tell dele
a Card Thought of. Youth, Old Age and Death. Servitude. Only the crater dele
of becoming--a Sealed Consciousness. Kraut und Ruben. In Stilled Pieces. dele
A Decorative Frieze. Gonnosfonadiga. Going Home a Different Way. The Storm Fiend. Cast Adrift. dele
"Par une Mere de plus en plus agitee."XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Storm Signals. An Egg-Cup Fountain. The Avalanche.dele
The Rainbow. The Relapse.dele

Now you must shield with your body if necessary (you
Remind me of some lummox I used to know) the secret your body is.
Yes, you are a secret and you must NEVER tell it--the freezing vapor
Of the stars would quickly freeze you to death, like a tear-stiffened handkechief
In some liquid air. No, but this secret is in some way the fuel of
Your living apart. A hearth-fire picked up in the glow of the polished
Wooden furniture and picture frames, something to turn away from and move back to--
Understand? This is all a part of you and the only part of you.

Here comes the answer: is it because apples grow
On the tree, or because it is green? An average day you may never know
 indentHow much is pushed into the night, nor what may return
To sulk contentedly, half asleep and half awake
By the arm of a chair pointed into
The painting of fire, or reach, in a coma
Out of the garden for foreign students.
Be sure the giant would know falling asleep, but the frozen droplets reveal
A mixed situation in which the penis
Scored the offer by fixed marches into what is.
One black spot remained.

If I should... if I said you were there
The... towering peace about us might
Hold up the way it breaks--the monsoon
Move a pebble, to the plumbing contract, cataract.
There has got to be only-- there is going to be
An accent on the portable bunch of grapes
The time the mildewed seas cast the
Hygrometer too far away. You read into it
The meaning of tears, the survey of our civilization.dele