A Poem by John Ashbery

The Undefinable Journey

Where do you think you’re
going to get lines to
punish the stranger with?
Cursing, destiny’s piñata;
it’s a surprise! (Partly sunny.)

O neat-o friend of mine,
to add a central target to the
mix is not to chase sea
monsters, real or imagined.

You drop the floor.
Small white chicken friends,
like life itself
over time last night…
And, what have you done with this one?






John Ashbery’s new book of poems, Breezeway, will be published next year. A two-volume set of his translations (poetry and prose) was published in early 2014 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.