Oils on 50 x 60 cm stretched canvas. In memoriam John Ashberry, and on a most happy anniversary of sorts.
“The Ongoing Story”
By John Ashberry, from A Wave
I could say it’s the happiest period of my life.
It hasn’t got much competition! Yesterday
It seemed a flatness, hotness. As though it barely stood out
From the rocks of all the years before. Today it sheds
That old name, without assuming any new one. I think it’s still there.
It was as though I’d been left with the empty street
A few seconds after the bus pulled out. A dollop of afternoon wind
Others tell you to take your attention off it
For awhile, refocus the picture. Plan to entertain,
To get out. (Do people really talk that way?)
We could pretend that all that isn’t there never existed anyway.
The great ideas? What good are they if they’re misplaced,
In the wrong order, if you can’t remember one
At the moment you’re so to speak mounting the guillotine
Like Sydney Carton, and can’t think of anything to say?
Or is this precisely material covered in a course
Called Background of the Great Ideas, and therefore it isn’t necessary
To say anything or even know anything? The breath of the moment
Is breathed, we fall and still feel better. The phone rings,
It’s a wrong number, and your heart is lighter,
Not having to be faced with the same boring choices again
Which doesn’t undermine a feeling for people in general and
Especially in particular: you,
In your deliberate distinctness, whom I love and gladly
Agree to walk blindly into the night with,
Your realness is real to me though I would never take any of it
Just to see how it grows. A knowledge that people live close by is,
I think, enough. And even if only first names are ever exchanged
The people who own them seem rock-true and marvelously self-sufficient.