Just Walking Around

Just Walking Around

What name do I have for you?
Certainly there is no name for you
In the sense that the stars have names
That somehow fit them. Just walking around,

An object of curiosity to some,
But you are too preoccupied
By the secret smudge in the back of your soul
To say much, and wander around,

Smiling to yourself and others.
It gets to be kind of lonely
But at the same time off-putting,
Counterproductive, as you realize once again

That the longest way is the most efficient way,
The one that looped among islands, and
You always seemed to be traveling in a circle.
And now that the end is near

The segments of the trip swing open like an orange.
There is light in there, and mystery and food.
Come see it. Come not for me but it.
But if I am still there, grant that we may see each other.


from Selected Poems (Carcanet, 1998), copyright © John Ashbery 1998, used by permission of the author.

Recordings

John Ashbery

John Ashbery Reading from his poems

1The Instruction Manual

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2Some Trees

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3For John Clare

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4Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape

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5What Is Poetry

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6At North Farm

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7The Songs We Know Best

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8Landscape (After Baudelaire)

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9Just Walking Around

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10More Pleasant Adventures

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11Hotel Lautreamont

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12This Room

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13If You Said You Would Come With Me

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14A Linnet

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15The Bobinski Brothers

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16The History of My Life

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17A Nice Presentation

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18Disagreeable Glimpses

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19Theme Park Days

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20View of Delft

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21The Lightning Conductor

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22I Asked Mr. Dithers Whether It Was time Yet He Said No to Wait

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23Chinese Whispers

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24Local Legend

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25Sir Gammer Vans

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Books by John Ashbery