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The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2017

All Issues
OCT 2017 Issue

The World Without John Ashbery


The world without John Ashbery

has lasted for one day

so far. Soon

one week, one century.

Will people look back

and scratch their heads

the way some do now?

I hope not. But

it’s all out of my hands

anyway, and I

won’t care one whit.

But what he did,

his poetry, that is,

is great.

He gave me a conjunction

and I ran away with it,

though it kept turning

me around, so I ran back.

And here I am

with a conjunction

on my hands.

My idea

was to give it back,

but instead

I’m going to move

the forest six inches

to the left and leave it

at that.



Ron Padgett

Ron Padgett’s How Long was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry and his Collected Poems won the LA Times Prize for the best poetry book of 2014 and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. His translations include Zone: Selected Poems of Guillaume Apollinaire and, with Wang Ping, Yu Jian’s Flash Cards. Padgett has collaborated with artists Jim Dine, George Schneeman, Joe Brainard, Bertrand Dorny, Trevor Winkfield, and Alex Katz. Seven of his poems were used in Jim Jarmusch’s film, Paterson.


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2017

All Issues