Saturday, April 14, 2012

from John Ashbery's poem "Pyrography"

(Somehow it makes perfect sense that the best writing manifesto I've read recently would be a piece of an old poem by John Ashbery.)

. . . Therefore, since we have to do our business

In spite of things, why not make it in spite of everything?

That way, maybe the feeble lakes and swamps

Of the back country will get plugged into the circuit

And not just the major events but the whole incredible

Mass of everything happening simultaneously and pairing off,

Channeling itself into history, will unroll

As carefully and as casually as a conversation in the next room,

And the purity of today will invest us like a breeze,

Only be hard, spare, ironical: something one can

Tip one's hat to and still get some use out of.

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