The first typescript

[Page 46]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” first typescript, page 46
The "second position"
Comes in the seventeenth year,
Watching the meaningless gyrations of flies above a sill.

The wind has stopped, but the magnolia blossoms still
Fall with a plop onto the dry, spongy earth
The evening air is pestiferous with midges.
                      of dele
There is only one way to completeing the puzzle: that is light greendele
By finding a willow-colored lime light green roof-shaped piece shading to buff at one side.dele

It is the beginning of March, a few
Russet and yellow wall flowers are blooming in the border
Protected by moss-grown weed [???] mossgrown, fragmentary masonry.dele
Termites are at work in the long central roof beam.

One morning you appear at breakfast
Dressed, as for a voyage, in your worst suit of clothes.
And over a pot of coffee, or more accurately rusted water
Announce your intention of leaving me alone in this cistern-like house.
I thinkXXXXXXX In your own best interests I think I shall decide not to believe you.dele

I think there is a funny sandbar
Beyond the old boardwalk
Your intrigue makes you understand.

"At thirty-two, I came up to take my examinations at the university.dele
The U wax factory, it seemed, wanted a new general manager.
I was the sole applicant for the job, but it was refused me.
So I have preferred to finish my life
In the quietude of this floral retreat."

The tiresome old man is telling us his life story.

The trout are circling under water--

Masters of eloquence
Glisten on the pages of your book
Like mountains veiled by water or the sky.

These moments of "population"dele
Of the night by the body are not wasted. wholly useless.dele

Only a sobbing, certain noteXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXdele
Breathes, in the transparent, deafening flood.XXXXXCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCKCdele
Heads in hands, waterfall of simplicity.
The delta of living into everything.
The pump is leaking--I shall have to have it fixed.dele

Your knotted hair
Around your shoulders
A shawl the colors of the spectrum

Like that marvelous thing you haven't learned yet.