The second typescript

[Page 6]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” second typescript, page 6


So error is plaited into desires not yet born.

Therefore the post must be resumed.(is being falsifieddele
To be forever involved, tragically, with one's own image?)
The studio light suddenly invaded the long casement--values were the one whatdele
She knows now. But the floor is being slowly pulled apart
Like straw under those limpid feet.
And Helga, in the minuscule apartment in Jersey City
Is reacting violet to the same kind of dress, is drawing death
Again in blossoms against the reactionary fire... pulsing
And knowing nothing to superb violet lambent distances that intercalatedele
This city. Is the death of the cube repeated. Or in the musical album.

It is time now for a general understanding of
The meaning of all this. The meaning of Helga, importance of the setting, etc.
      stet A description of the passionate blues, etc. Labels on bottlesdele
And all kinds of discarded objects that ought to be described.
But can one ever be sure of which ones?
Isn't this a death-trap, wanting to put too much in
So the floor sags, as under the weight of a piano, or a piano-legged girl
And the whole house of cards comes dinning down around one's ears!

But this is an important aspect of the question
Which I am not ready to discuss, am not at all ready to,
This leaving-out business. On it hinges the very importance of what's novel,dele
Or autocratic, or dense or silly. It is as well to call attention
To it by exaggeration, perhaps. But calling attention
Isn't the same thing as explaining, and as I said I am not ready
To line phrases with the costly stuff of explanation, and shall not,
Will not do so for the moment. Except to say that the carnivorous
Way of these lines is to devour their own nature, leaving
Nothing but a bitter impression of absence, which as we know involves presence, but still.
Nevertheless these are fundamental absences, struggling to get up and be off themselves.

This, thus, is a portion of the subject of these[?]XXXXX this poemdele
Which is in the form of falling snow:dele
That is, the individual flakes are not essential to the importance to of the whole's becoming so much of a truismdele
That their importance is again called in question, to be denied further out, and again and again like this.
Hence, neither the importance of the individual flake,
Nor the importance of the whole importance of tXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX impression of the setXXX storm, if it has any, is what it is,dele
But the rhythm of the series of repeated jumps, from abstract into positive and back to a slightly less diluted abstract.