The second typescript

[Page 21]

Ashbery: “The Skaters,” second typescript, page 21


A part of you the minute they appear. It is as though workmen in blue overalls
Were constantly bringing on new props and taking others away: that is how you feel the drama going past you, powerless to act in it.
To have it all be over! To wake suddenly on a hillside
With a valley far below-- the clouds--

That is the penance you have already done:
January, March, February. We You are living toward a definitiondele
Of the peaceful appetite, then you see
Them standing round limp and hungry like adjacent clouds.

Soon there is to be exchange of ideas and
Far more beautiful handshake, under the coat of
Weather is undecided right now.
Postpone the explanation.
The election is to be held tomorrow, under the trees.

You felt the months keep coming up
And it is December again,
The snow outside. Or is it June full of sun
And the prudent benefits of sun, but still the postman comes.
The true meaning of some of his letters is slight--

Another time I thought I could see myself.
This too proved illusion, but I could deal with the way
I keep returning on myself like a plank
Like a small boat blown away from the wind.

It all ends in a smile somewhere,
Notes to be taken on all this,
And you can see in the dark, of which the night
Is the continuation of your ecstasy and apprehension.