The first typescript

[Page 37]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 37

A few snowflakes are falling in the airshaft
And my exile is full of meaning to me in this way.
The minute the door shut behind me I laughed
And gripping the jamb of the door, began to sway
Backward and forward, daft
With the sensation of loneliness, a fray
Of colored sensations that waft
Peacefully across the gray
Of ordinary feelings, like stXX small craftdele
When they put up storm signals late in May
Henceforth, a prisoner on a bobbing raft
Of differencXXXXXXXXX indifference, I'd ofXX raftdele
Of feelings to sort out. {That one daydele
It was a question of me, or that people maydele
Have spoken of me,} was one and the same: no shaftdele
Could now wound me, no craft
Perplex. Across the way
The sun was sinking, casting gray
Shadows on the front of the buildings. I laughed
Again, feeling sadness waft
Like a soothing current. The sway
Of melancholy had officially begun, could fray
A curtain. Daft
                     half dele
Little birds harped on it; daft
I remembered a peach orchard, like a raft
Of fragrant blossoms, another dayXXXXXXXXXXX to fraydele
It was a prairieXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX a path through hushed seas. Another daydele
It was the same, orXX as tall graXXX reeds swaydele
And yet things remain the same. Thus one may
Live on and on, mindless of peanuts that waft
Their smell your way, like a shaft.
The old janitress laughed
To hear us there

He will have managed to
find out all about it, the
way that people do.