September 5th, 2017

Onw Uniform Substance

A fragment of the poem: "Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror" by John Ashbery, 1927-2017.

I feel the carousel starting slowly
And going faster and faster; desks,  papers, books,
Photographs of friends, the windows and the trees
Merging in one neutral band that surrounds
Me on all sides, evrywhere I look.
And I cannot explain the action of leveling,
Why it should all boil down to one
Uniform substance, a magma of interiours  -- 1973

This is supposedly a "meditation on the beseiged 20th Century Mind" (Hillel Italie, Obituary, Assciated Press, 09/07/2017; but I wonder??   It reads more like a mystical experience to me.