John Ashbery

Rookie (28 July 1927 / Rochester, New York)

Just Walking Around


What name do I have for you?
Certainly there is not name for you
In the sense that the stars have names
That somehow fit them. Just walking around,

An object of curiosity to some,
But you are too preoccupied
By the secret smudge in the back of your soul
To say much and wander around,

Smiling to yourself and others.
It gets to be kind of lonely
But at the same time off-putting.
Counterproductive, as you realize once again

That the longest way is the most efficient way,
The one that looped among islands, and
You always seemed to be traveling in a circle.
And now that the end is near

The segments of the trip swing open like an orange.
There is light in there and mystery and food.
Come see it.
Come not for me but it.
But if I am still there, grant that we may see each other.

Submitted: Saturday, March 11, 2006

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  • Freshman - 1,680 Points John Richter (11/28/2014 7:29:00 AM)

    Such an insightful poem to the travel through life.... the secret smudge on the back of your soul - a cross we all bear...... I think I should enjoy reading more of Mr. Ashbery's thoughts. (Report) Reply

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