Strangers May Kiss

John Ashbery
John Ashbery, Palette, collage, 2011. © Estate of John Ashbery, courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.
John Ashbery, Palette, collage, 2011. © Estate of John Ashbery. Courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.

It wouldn’t be the first time (either),
curvaceous, some of the art work
keeps spilling, and so on.

Don’t say anything.
(You always need to get somewhere,
civil engine,
some more dumb bunny cheesecake.)
Thanks for having me
slipshod and enjoy
his undistinguished underwear.

Literary schools and manners
was not mistaken about his
it got that way just the end
not after eleven o clock at night,
chubby accent.

Fact: I’m tempted to sort of slither in its path,
all that rot.
Where you going to hang it from?

Yes I suppose so and
I want you to get another one of those
from apparent disorder but
but kind of
even drink to this.
You probably won’t see us again.

Is it great being uncomfortable there?
We didn’t call it that.

John Ashbery (1927–2017) was a poet whose many collections of poetry include Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror, which won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Originally published:
September 20, 2021

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