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John Ashbery

Morgan Craig Teicher


There is something wrong. Always,
in fact, there is more than one thing
wrong. A few minutes at a time,
I try to ignore them all and focus
on what it says in a book, and if
Brenda don't like it,
I feel bad. There are many things
right, like that the baby is happily
napping, and many things half-right,
like that it's sunny, but in a hazy,
somewhat ominous way. And if that's
not a metaphor, then certainly
the next topic upon which this
poem will alight is: my pen
is a little mouth for my hand.


My fingerprints are footprints
for my fingers, and I know
there's something to these poems,
I just can't paraphrase exactly what.
The need to speak, the quivering mouth,
the need to speak and not be
answered, not suffer another
godawful perspective. The baby is
crying: the present moment is
within the scope of these poems,
and what kind of father am I,
writing through my child's tears?
But Brenda is going to yoga class,
and I'll catch all the tears for
an hour or more. Since when
am I John Ashbery?

Craig Morgan Teicher

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