[ToC]

 

ASHBERY ERASURES

[introduction by Chad Parmenter] [John Ashbery's original] [John Ashbery's self-erasure] [Hadara Bar-Nadav] [Rosebud Ben-Oni] [Tara Betts] [Bruce Bond] [Steve Castro] [Joshua Clover] [Matthew Cooperman] [Alfred Corn] [Curtis Crisler] [Noah Falck] [John Gallaher] [Janet Holmes] [Jason Koo] [Brendan Lorber] [William Owen] [Chad Parmenter] [D A Powell] [Mary Ruefle] [Lauren Russell] [Ravi Shankar] [Laura Sims] [Sean Singer] [Maggie Smith] [MK Sukach] [Jennifer Tseng] [Dara Wier]

Lauren Russell

ECLOGUE

Cuddie:   Slowly all your secret is had
In the empty day.
 People and sticks go down to
              the water.
How can we be so silent? Only shivers
Are bred in this land of whistling goats.
Colin:    Father, I have long dreamed your whitened
Face and sides to accost me in dull play.
If you in your
bush indeed know her
Where shall my heart's vagrant tides place her?  
        
Cuddie:  

A wish is induced by a sudden change
In the wind's decay. Shall we to the water's
              edge,
O prince? The peons rant in a light fume.
Madness will gaze at its reflection.



Colin:   What is this pain come near me?
Now I thought my heart would burst,
And there, spiked like some cadenza's head,
A tiny crippled heart was born.

Cuddie:   I tell you good will imitate this.
Now
we must dip in raw water
These few thoughts and fleshy members.
So evil my refresh our days.

Colin:   She has descended part way!
Now father
cut me down with tears.
Plant me far
in my mother's image
To do
cold work of books and stones.
Cuddie:   I need not raise my hand
Colin:   She burns the flying peoples
Cuddie:   To hear its old advice
Colin:   And spear my heart's two beasts
Cuddie:   Or cover with its mauves.
Colin:   And I depart unhurt.

 

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In 1955, two white men, Roy Bryant and J.W. Millam, murdered the fourteen year-old black boy Emmett Till for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Money, Mississippi. "Eclogue" was published in John Ashbery’s Some Trees in 1956.