From: Al Filreis
Subject: Re: thin vertical path!
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 07:33:40 -0400 (EDT)

Dave Deifer had written:

> how do you remember it? the medieval town, boy scouts, snow.... these are 
> the images we were taught, and the only way we can record, rationalize.
> >     As we believed it. In school
> >     All the thought got combed out:
> >     What was left was like a field.
> >     Shut your eyes, and you can feel it for miles around.
> and the poet sees all things that there are no words for, things that die 
> and undie, things that float and unfloat.
> >     Now open them on a thin vertical path.
> >     It might give us--what?--some flowers soon?
> the thin vertical path is what we see, what we we're taught we are 
> seeing and their symbols. --brainwashed by the politics of words.
> 	~~yIkEs

Translation of Dave's translation of Ashbery:

"Well, poems have images - are supposed so. So what? These can be just lists of things one should put in poems. Uh oh, *this* poem itself might be one of those because it's talking about such things. Hm. When I went to school thought was teased out of me, and what was left in me was flat and open and vaguely (Romantically) poetic by tradition but by nothing else more pointed. I thought about it and couldn't really think about it. I concentrate suddenly again and see that I am leading myself very narrowly (more schooling) down toward - what? I dunno - some very conventional reward, like a bouquet or a diploma. Even when I recover from the combing out of school I've been combed out. Perhaps what we need now in poetry are words that don't resemble any of the old words. You can't say it that way any more. Let's try: '~~yIkEs' and see what happens. You go there, into that promised land; I'm not ready yet. I still write poems that are beautifully lyric, such as *this* one, even as I'm trying not to write poems like this one."