The first typescript

[Page 27]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 27


There has, however, been this change, so complete as to be invisible;
You might call it... "passion" might be a good word,
I think we will call it that for easy reference. This room, now, for instance, is all blue, instead of blb v XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX black and white instead of blue.dele

A few snowflakes are sinking in the airshaft, across the way
The sun was sinking, casting gray
Shadows on the front of the buildings.

Lower your left shoulder.
Stand still and do not see-saw with your body.

Any more golfing hints, Charlie?

Plant your feet squarely. Grasp your club lightly but firmly in the hollow of your fingers.
Slowly swing well back and complete your stroke well through, pushing to the very end

When putting, grasp the club firmly, swing back very slowly, and go well through with the stroke.

"All up and down de whole creation"
Like magic lantern slides projected on the wall of a cavern--castles, enchanted gardens, etc.
I am slowly coming round. But please don't ask for any news.

The traditional anagrams of moonlight
Projected on those walls--chunks of meaning in them--
A Your story that subsides quietly into plain historical fact.dele
You have, in fact, chosen the traditional images of youth, old age, and death
To keep harping on this traditional imagery.

For childhood you chose a wreath of rosesdele
As fitting the season and the general mood.dele
Maturity is symbolized by a shepherd's crookdele
To bring errant sheep back to the path.dele

Later life is a clock with the hands magnetized at noon
Unable to go back or forward, in the surprise of pain
And its amaze. Hips of trees that protect noon squatters
looking for flowers in the grass.

With death an angry fist
Summoning the injured family home
After a lifetime of errata. In these four pictures
The total history of mankind is enchained. The reader

Will not have been taken in.
He will have managed to find out all about it, the way people do.
    soThe moonlight congress backs out then. And with a crydele
He throws the whole business into the flames: books, notes, pencil diagrams, everything.

No, the only thing that interests him is day
And its problems. Freiheit, freiheit!
To be out of these dusty cells once and for all
Has been the dream of mankind ever since the beginning of the universe.