Reading in Autumn
"Summer Reading" by John Ashbery
With these lighter days a concomitant
urge to scrutiny arrives. Signing in,
my motivation palls, pusillanimous.
Are we to take it inside the house?
I have to go.
Tell me another dream. The long events surface
wider, farther apart, like autumn breakers.
Birds are suddenly there. The house of cards
on sand falters, fatally. I'm elated.
You never know how things work out
except through "sleight" of hand, sometimes.
I'm worried about knowing later.
The high-school principal killed his star student,
for instance. Feeling competent,
they quashed him. Until he wins the crisis
we can't promote it. Keep that rodent away.
What have you seemed to do?
Do interesting things well done and may
spring chasten you. We had everything in mind.
Everything softballed, wound up on my back porch.
It's okay, though. Keep us on your docket. Cut through the . . .