John Ashbery, 1927-2017

Why is it too late to be simple,
out riding, pointing at something, when all you loved was there anyway? Too late
to be inventoried or caressed, as one lays in a stock of family anecdotes for the future,
poses to assume, frippery, harmless tomfoolery, until in a cocoon
made of commas it will all seem to come right, but the ashes have been left far behind
on a nameless road, in whose ruts glass still flashes magisterially,
not merrily short-circuited as when we were among people, but a thing on its own now,
to weep over rather than think of saving? If only we could get the message out further,
yet here all kinds of sacred cows hinder one, so there is no longer any point
in pursuing the implications today. Tomorrow will be good enough for that.
—John Ashbery, Flow Chart (1991)

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