Saturday, October 23, 2021

Whenever the Pressure to Popularize Is Felt, Poets Tend to Be Drawn Toward Narrative

The sun sets on the Blue Nile
Hours after an attempted
Coup was foiled. John Ashbery

Was a magpie thief whose words
Slightly resented being
Kept captive in that birdcage.

Some such statements may be true.
Tut-tut. Don’t use that word, true.
You can tear through the scatter,

Find what you can use. Closure
Escapes you, no matter how
Nychthemeronal you are.

Your phone messages tremble
With increasingly urgent
Texts from a friend to a friend.

There’s never a new world. No,
Ashbery can’t disagree.
It was never his forte,

And the sun will set again
Even though sun never sets,
The Blue Nile never so blue.

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