The first typescript

[Page 33]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 33


The Stamp Album   

Though certain of my eyes'
Final meeting with you: how we move through
Certain events without fear or surprise
I believe I shall write you (here a red bird breathes,
A little red bleeds onto the page,
The mildness does go on). The distant, purple

Stamp album:'s my image of you.dele
So many dried, torn, utterly uninteresting images you both conceal:
Of work, play and piety; centennial expositions,
Of the 75th anniversary of a state, or the founding of the Hungarian Communist Party
I believe it is time we had a look at them.dele

And so it is with a secret feeling of delight I realize I am
All alone once again in the skittish darkness,
Leaning toward the magnifying glass, or the tweezers, or the little glass of water.

One seizes these moments as they come along, afraid
To believe too much in the happiness that might result
Or confide too much of one's love and fear, even in

Oneself. Thus it was, once, long ago         (an enthusiastic?) dele
I oXXX In our former period, I turned to the dark and enchanted smile.dele
These moments of "population"
Of the night by the body are not wasted:
The next day the body returns,dele
A multitude of bodies, dressed in the costumes of many landsdele
And holding a chain of freedom in their hands.dele

The first few links are a theme the stamps never tire CCCCCCCCCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLCLLdele
Breaking theXXXXXXXXXXXX whose shattered the poisonousdele

I think sometimes the things you take up in your hands
Mean all of you, and the proof of this
Is that you are always a part of me, even in my dreams.
When I pick up some humble object
From my desk, turning it between two fingers, carelessly
It means you. In a moment the pane