Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected a new poem by John Ashbery for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

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Claudia Gabriela Marques Vieira , "Red Balloon" (2008) (via flickr.com/saphirai)

Claudia Gabriela Marques Vieira, “Red Balloon” (2008) (via flickr.com/saphirai)

Glove Compartment

“Did they mention a shawl?”
— Nicolas Hundley, “Gothic Novel”

For treasonable us
we sold my brotherhood down the stream.

I’m always surprised at
how green-tempered you are

toward other, frog-related chains
of weeks, or months, or

whatever you call them.
He devoted Christmas day to finding out

all the news about Mama and their three puppies.
The foundry was out and would have to be relit,

nineteen years is enough. It’s not
overcrowded until the day we go to the farm places’

blank pill.
Silence is everywhere, like silence,

is suspect, she being…
We’ll try to get home

throughout the air.
I don’t want to have to speak to you again

and have to unveil
you called her.

Can’t they stay generated?
We’re not going to start today

because that is awesome
which in turn stirs up the system and

we are ready and we’re still not smart.
Put it up a little

to the great cleansing wind,
a gay, fat guest

or getting my train elected.
Can I be a medicine?

The innocence collected now
that’s not, interestingly enough,

the easiest way to do it, is
her suit

sent me a bunch of little…
Let my song fill your heart. It’s

more than I wanted.
I had always wanted to do just the

right thing and fit in with the.
From more dishonest fences loomed the per cent.

I didn’t have leave to be
the only justice that gets through.

It’s so exhausting being a
medium, especially the 94th military one.

Atta bugger… He belongs in passports now
the productivity panel has its view.

Undressing her was unfunny
biscuit routine.

His share of the opera
betokens carriages.

Just can’t live anymore.
Always happy to shoot the breeze.

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John Ashbery’s new book of poems, Breezeway, will be published in May, 2015 (Ecco/HarperCollins). A two-volume set of his collected translations from the French (poetry and prose) was published in early 2014 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).

Joe Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut poetry book, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named “Best First Book of the Year” by Coldfront...

3 replies on ““Glove Compartment” by John Ashbery”

  1. When I first saw the title Glove Compartment, I thought to myself Glove Department, and immediately thought of a long standing conversation I’ve had with myself from time to time:

    I have to wonder if Raymond Roussel was somehow influenced by Max Klinger’s A Glove (Ein Handschuh), 10 etchings, a portfolio published 1881-1898 also known as “Paraphrase on the Finding of a Glove.” especially in reference to the Henry Zo commission.. For some reason these two series seem to resonate with each other for me..

    I would love to know Ashbery’s mind on this.. and wonderful poem of course..



  2. I have never understood any of Ashbery’s poetry. I know I’m missing something, and I hope someone will start me on this one – please?!

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