The New Higher

John Ashbery

 

You meant more than life to me. I lived through
you not knowing, not knowing I was living.
I learned that you called for me. I came to where
you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.
No one to appreciate me. The legality of it
upset a chair. Many times to celebrate
we were called together and where
we had been there was nothing there,
nothing that is anywhere. We passed obliquely,
leaving no stare. When the sun was done muttering,
in an optimistic way, it was time to leave that there.

Blithely passing in and out of where, blushing shyly
at the tag on the overcoat near the window where
the outside crept away, I put aside the there and now.
Now it was time to stumble anew,
blacking out when time came in the window.
There was not much of it left.
I laughed and put my hands shyly
across your eyes. Can you see now?
Yes I can see I am only in the where
where the blossoming stream takes off, under your window.
Go presently you said. Go from my window.
I am in love with your window I cannot undermine
it, I said.

 
Copyright © 2005 John Ashbery

Poems by This Author

Alcove by John Ashbery
Is it possible that spring could be
At North Farm by John Ashbery
Bells II by John Ashbery
For just as a misunderstanding germinates
Daffy Duck In Hollywood by John Ashbery
Something strange is creeping across me.
Elective Infinities by John Ashbery
Thirsty? They race across ampersands
Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape by John Ashbery
The first of the undecoded messages read: "Popeye sits in thunder,
For John Clare by John Ashbery
Kind of empty in the way it sees everything, the earth gets to its
Instead of Losing by John Ashbery
Anyone, growing up in a space you hadn't used yet
Into the Dusk-Charged Air by John Ashbery
Far from the Rappahannock, the silent
Love in Boots by John Ashbery
Our first assignment was to make a square
Meaningful Love by John Ashbery
What the bad news was
Mottled Tuesday by John Ashbery
Something was about to go laughably wrong
My Philosophy of Life by John Ashbery
Just when I thought there wasn't room enough
Robin Hood's Barn by John Ashbery
Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror [MS excerpt] by John Ashbery
Some Trees by John Ashbery
These are amazing: each
Syringa by John Ashbery
Orpheus liked the glad personal quality
The Plural of Jack-in-the-Box by John Ashbery
How quiet the diversion stands


Further Reading

Related Poems
Change
by Carl Dennis
Poems Teens Like
Howl, Parts I & II
by Allen Ginsberg
A Muse
by Reginald Shepherd
Alice at Seventeen: Like a Blind Child
by Darcy Cummings
Ave Maria
by Frank O'Hara
Ballad
by Sonia Sanchez
Because it looked hotter that way
by Camille T. Dungy
Charlotte Brontë in Leeds Point
by Stephen Dunn
Cicada
by John Blair
Coach Losing His Daughter
by Jack Ridl
Dangerous for Girls
by Connie Voisine
Deer Hit
by Jon Loomis
Falling
by James Dickey
Flowers of Rad
by Sampson Starkweather
Ground Swell
by Mark Jarman
homage to my hips
by Lucille Clifton
In Knowledge of Young Boys
by Toi Derricotte
Lady Tactics
by Anne Waldman
Mairsy and Dosey
by Sharon Olds
Making a Fist
by Naomi Shihab Nye
Mermaid Song
by Kim Addonizio
Notes from the Other Side
by Jane Kenyon
Patience
by Kay Ryan
Possum Crossing
by Nikki Giovanni
Sticks
by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Thanks
by W. S. Merwin
That Sure is My Little Dog
by Eleanor Lerman
The Changing Light
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The Fist
by Derek Walcott
The Pomegranate
by Eavan Boland
The Wild Iris
by Louise Glück
The Young Man's Song
by W. B. Yeats
White Apples
by Donald Hall
Workshop
by Billy Collins