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This poem is taken from PN Review 89, Volume 19 Number 3, January - February 1993.

Three Poems John Ashbery


After ten years, my lamp
expired. At first I thought
there wasn't going to be any more this.
In the convenience store of spring

I met someone who knew someone I loved
by the dairy case. All ribbons parted
on a veil of musicks, wherein
unwitting orang-outangs gambled for socks,

and the tasseled enemy was routed.
Up in one corner a plaid puff of smoke
warned mere pleasures away. We
were getting on famously - like

"houses on fire," I believe the expression
is. At midterm I received permission
to go down to the city. There,

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