Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 Poetry |

Variations on ‘La Folia’

Now another one who said it is gone, killing all the wonderful suspense, desired or not. Shut the window. It's chilly in here. Yes, I know it's only open a crack. It's "all moon and no stars" again, and I cast no shadow. It's not a good thing. There aren't that many seats. I remember when Clement Attlee was world premier. There was more austerity then but less things to get done. The amniotic valley still holds memories of those kids who have sway, some blue-violet, some only an outline. It was what he meant by austerity, I think. There was a man named Silhouette once, renowned for his stinginess. As I think about it the more it gets lighter and brighter. I had asked for it monogrammed. A hurricane blasted the triple-mud sundae into the room where I like to write sometimes in the afternoons. There was no dealing with the gangsters then. They all had disappeared. My dog, green pussy, came along with my bowl of grape-nuts. I let out an unaccustomed howl yet no hoosegow gaped. I was

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John Ashbery is the author of over twenty books of poetry. He has received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award.

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