Then again, if I were feeling clever,
even sitting square in my chair,
feet on the—Then again,
if I wanted to practice and sharpen
the knife, sharpen my pencil,
well, there is more than one way to say so—
Then again, I was young once too!
Now I simply wave my hand if I need to,
turn the chair to face the window.
I come home dancing up
the stairs in my hall and even then
the music is mine. There’s the door—
Oh, are you inside?
Pardon me, let me show you around.
The shower here, clumsy kitchen—all
the makings of a life headed toward
How many lifetimes piling up!
The papers and statues—Mercury too, swinging around
in vain, a curtain pulled back again. Here
we go again, everything in boxes—Ashbery
Wilbur and Bishop—here. The wood,
the metal, even the plastic of toys—
Here, hold this.
Sharpening! Another pencil
wearing down to a stub. Another year in tow,
the tub built in, a new rocking chair.
Back on the shelves, Americans and free—
the finest and most varied talents assembled.
Here a lost opera, here slippers. Then again
and again and again. Window screens, more
hallways passing faster.
Do they say a run of stairs?
A flight, a case, more travel. Eager to keep on
to get going. Not again!
Back in my chair, feet to the floor.
My ear, my imperfect pitch—
then again, said differently, I could
learn to love it! So,
one two three four five six walls, doors, back down
the halls—Ah the streets.
Let me wander the way I do. If I were
adventuresome, oh but does that matter?
I walk down this street remembering
what I can. The whole city is a rant.
Well, we were all children once!
That way—oh tumbling away, follow—follow it!