but don't be fooled by what you leave behind
Mark Ryden, Corkey Ascending to the Heavens, 1994
-- John Ashbery
A veil of haze protects this
Long-ago afternoon forgotton by everybody
In this photograph, most of them now
Sucked screaming through old age and death
If one could seize America
Or at least a fine forgetfulness
That seeps into our outline
Defining our volumes with a stain
That is fleeting too
Because it does define, after all:
Gray garlands, that threesome
Waiting for the light to change,
Air lifting the hair of one
Upside down in the reflecting pool.
Love in America
-- Marianne Moore
Whatever it is, it's a passion --
a benign dementia that should be
engulfing America, fed in a way
the opposite of the way
in which the Minotaur was fed.
It's a midas of tenderness;
from the heart;
nothing else. From one with ability
to bear being misunderstood --
take the blame, with "nobility
that is action," identifying itself with
without brazenness or
bigness of overgrown
Whatever it is, let it be without
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
-- Denise Levertov
I am waiting.
On benches, at the corners
of earth's waitingrooms,
by trees whose sap rises, rises
to escape in gray leaves and lose
itself in the last air.
for who comes at last
late, lost, the forever
not my road but crossing
the corner where I wait.