reading John Ashbery from _THREE POEMS_

Ashbery by Bill Hayward

"THE RECITAL" [24:11]

read by JLo

Three Poems
John Ashbery
Ecco Press, 1989
118 pages

Not bad for a sight reading, huh? I had to cut in and fix four fuckups, but at this length, that's not too bad. There are surely places where, more practiced, I'd have carried the semantic push forward more effectively than I have here. Still, I enjoyed the twisty thread of thinking (logopoeia?) emerging and dodging away from the unspooling drive of my reading.

There is more to be thought about the sense of a push or drive in the text (and distinct from what a reading or performance might or might not aspire toward) and this more requires a way of thinking beyond Pound's tripartite model in such a way to figure both the incessant, machinic, automaton-like nature of the signifying chain's push toward one sham closure after another as well as the variables of capture, which is to say investment, of enjoyment - the kind that penetrates, that makes these words feel… as well as the logos, phanos, melos (perhaps as informed by, but not equivalent to Lacan's Symbolic Imaginary Real?)

Many cite The Tennis Court Oath as their favorite Ashbery or most the epochal, inimitable, etc. It's a cool book certainly, but I really like THREE POEMS lot. I chose "THE RECITAL" because of the length advantage for the reader compared to the other options, but it's still a pretty amazing piece in its own right - perhaps more immediately interpretable should anyone be so inclined. 

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