By John Ashbery
A 1995 selection of poems that unearths John Ashbery at his such a lot conversational, humorous, and surprising.
In are you able to pay attention, poultry, John Ashbery's 17th assortment, language is either a plaything and a sandbox. The poems are prepared no longer within the order in their composition yet alphabetically, through the 1st letter of their titles, just like the smartly arrayed keys of a few remarkable Seussical software. In line after line, Ashbery demonstrates his alertness to language because it is spoken, heard, broadcast, and dreamed—and units himself the duty of rewriting, redefining, and revising the yankee idiom we predict we all know so good. are you able to pay attention, poultry is a decisive instance of the uniquely Ashberyan sensibility his many lovers love, revealing a beneficiant and acute chronicler of the typical strange, an observant and humane stand-up comedian, and an ear educated on interpreting our sleek world's beguiling polyphony.
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Additional info for Can You Hear, Bird
Blames and evades, but does not mock her own vices. She had owned houses. She had entertained. She had counted napkins. And saw names migrate from death certificates to closing papers. I have not enjoyed Earrrlll Grrrey for some time now, lorgnette pinky lifting. At market pug Silenuses hinged open on figurines of the gods. Socrates! bubbled Alcibiades. Gapped grin, then shy gaze sweeping a heart locket. The mission of a seed is to immolate itself for a strange glory. I get four hours sleep, scan the truckers for the least obnoxious, then make my move.
I want our incident along the Bay to stay clear of this. Which it can if I simply pick up and resume. Saying that it happened by saying that it didn’t happen. Clearing out with my instrument and making my connection. Marveling and going home. But feral thought demands the lie that greases it. 53 The phrases in that thought are long, their tails loop around other thoughts. The unsaying of such thinking writes a long amendment. That unsaying requires unthinking the manifest frames. Demands oak-handled blood-flecked tools.
Love, slow to judge. Then the rathe oil of action. 54 incomings On the curve of the airfoil yet as gloss deep in that metal sun smear drags illumination firmly across wrinkles, rivers, grace of the drillers on the rigs, of jungles pressed into black pools by rock masses: over that hazed and riveted convex mirror for the sky’s face the newswoman Politkovskaya saw nausea, poison working in from tea served to her on the Rostov flight, she, called to Beslan to dicker for Chechens who had sequestered eleven hundred children, all at school.
Can You Hear, Bird by John Ashbery