A short work in Planisphere, it’s Ashbery’s poem
About sporting a pithy, omnidirectional grin.
Who knows if the dog even barks? I don’t
Have to ask you because you always end up
Where you are, but J.A. prefers a cul-de-sac, seems
Ever ready to re-paint the shutters on his dream house.
Think of trap-door spiders and the bugs they catch.
John grabs his supper in a provisional world, as well,
Words chewed, swallowed, shat. Today I used
A snow shovel to plant a red dahlia. If I leave weeds
In the garden, it’s because I want the deer
To eat them first, then wander off.
I don’t know why I bother to get angry but I do.
This poem is reprinted from Geoffrey Young's Dumbstruck (2013), with permission.
Geoffrey Young [photo credit: Walter Robinson] was born in Los Angeles in 1944, and grew up in San Diego.
Before settling in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in 1982, Young spent student years in Santa Barbara (UCSB), and Albuquerque (UNM), then lived for two years in Paris (a Fulbright year followed by a six-month stint working for La Galerie Sonnabend) followed by seven years in Berkeley (two sons born). His small press, The Figures (1975-2005), published more than 135 books of poetry, art writing, and fiction.
His own recent books include Sapphire Drive, 2015; The Point Less Taken, 2013, with images by Lucas Reiner; All the Anarchy I Want, 2013; Dumbstruck, 2013, with paintings by Daniel Heidkamp; Get On Your Pony & Ride, 2012, with paintings by Chie Fueki; Times of India, 2012, with images by Alexander Gorlizki; The Riot Act, 2008, with cover painting by Eric Fischl; Fickle Sonnets, 2005, with cover & drawings by Donald Baechler; Lights Out, 2003, with cover & drawings by James Siena; and Cerulean Embankments, 1999, with cover & drawings by Carroll Dunham. He has directed the Geoffrey Young Gallery for the last 24 years, as well as written catalog essays for many artists.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan