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john ashbery impersonator
he looked around the festival crowd
relieved to be alone he didnt see me apricot
& or lilacshirted crouched behind a stand
i noted everything he said to use later in
a poem in which the silent changes might
occur how right he was the spoken word
seemed to lift off the page live alone
or in camberwell i saw him write youll notice
me ill be the one not wearing a red sash
how right he was were enlivened by stories
comparing ephemera why ask a plague
of locusts by what right like me he wore
return to sender sideburns & carried the aim
of this government cattleprod these were mere
favourites when everything he said said i
am he he wasnt what was he he wants to
go it alone but at this time of year the
best place to see eclipses are asylums
as i grew bigger sweat patches & my desire
to smoke affected my lungs i thought his
lips formed in french what he was saying
in english with a fluency monolingual
ventriloquists could only applaud by stamping
their feet & screwing their papers up
page by page & throwing them onto in
amourous & arrogant tribute to those
whose unfortunate gestures couldnt be represented
here today the festival stage i paraphrase
j a the spectacle not the spectator was hung
i hold up my prod & ask please im willing
who did & were you like when young