Barely tolerated, living on the margin In our technological society, we were always having to be rescued On the brink of destruction, like heroines in Orlando Furioso Before it was time to start all over again. There would be thunder in the bushes, a rustling of coils, And Angelica, in the Ingres painting, was considering The colorful but small monster near her toe, as though wondering whether forgetting The whole thing might not, in the end, be the only solution. And then there always came a time when Happy Hooligan in his rusted green automobile Came plowing down the course, just to make sure everything was O.K., Only by that time we were in another chapter and confused About how to receive this latest piece of information. Was it information? Weren’t we rather acting this out For someone else’s benefit, thoughts in a mind With room enough and to spare for our little problems (so they began to seem), Our daily quandary about food and the rent and bills to be paid?
from Soonest Mended, John Ashbery