Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
John McAuliffeBill Manhire in Conversation with John McAuliffe
(PN Review 259)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Patricia CraigVal Warner: A Reminiscence
(PN Review 259)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue James K. Baxter, Uncollected Poems Rod Mengham, Last Exit for the Revolution Stav Poleg, The Citadel of the Mind Jena Schmitt, Resting Places: The Writing-Life F Friederike Mayrocker Wayne Hill, Poems
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PN Review 275
PN Review Substack

This poem is taken from PN Review 140, Volume 27 Number 6, July - August 2001.

Four Poems John Ashbery

The Decals in the Hallway

remanded Margery to an earlier contingency:
Sir Isaac fishing for compliments
in troubled waters, and like that. In a flash, a star
o'erspread their terrestrial inhibitions. Mother's
hairnet came unknotted. She dabbled in bliss
all her life, early knew perfection's spiteful sting.

He'd imbibed his father-in-law's authority
as though it were ichor. Sometimes, transplanted
to the elephant's-foot umbrella stand
in the vestibule, he'd curse children and the impossible
trail of conundrums they leave behind. It'd
be just like him, she thought, to leave
on the eve of the midnight of their secrecy,
secretly planning to be around next morning
when the gulls had drifted away and the engines given
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image