THE GRATEFUL DEAD
I like the word Masoretic but feel
Disinclined to use it in a sentence
Scrying instead my platelets
And bad dreams. Something
Keeps sleeping against
Me that is not the person
Beside me. By “against”
I mean against. My lack
Of beauty was supposed
To be some fault of my own.
They would have had me believe
This entire “democracy” was an inner defect
Bartering my hooked nose against
Your virtuosity I walked the line
Between pity and horror having come
Here for one reason and one reason only:
To have become at last American.
“They Dream Only Of America” is a poem
By John Ashbery. I gratefully received a bequest
Of his collection of pornography and a very
Ugly chair. But you must tell no one these facts
There are things I was told I’d have to take
To my grave. For I toil in a public place
Using an invisible medium employed by all
But subtracted, in my hands and in my mouth
From common use. And scorned by all
I yet remain here. Why, you ask?
For part one visit Modern Art.
For part two visit Luhring Augustine.