EVENTS AND PROJECTS

The Flow Chart Foundation partners with other organizations as well as directly producing programming toward fulfilling its mission.

The Flow Chart Foundation has initiated it’s public programs by partnering with Hudson Hall to present its first public event—Flow Chart Cabaret Cinema: A Night of Neo-Benshi—offered as a love letter to John Ashbery and featuring an Ashberian evening of poets theater that commingles poetry, theatre and film, taking place on Friday, April 5th, 2019. Read more!


 

The Foggiest

I would say this landscape

Too is a document. But

What is landscape? A procession

Across the soul that thinks

It’s entering something?

Then the cold, dank withdrawal.

It’s something that can never be read again

Or even once. What its rolled-up

Soul conceals is very important.

Meanwhile you know

You have to go on not

Understanding, not even trying to listen.

That way, something gets pile up,

Can feed all memories and there’s still

As much as there was before—can wax

Enthusiastic in the shadows

Of some rooms—maybe they aren’t

All that shadowed though. In short,

It keeps addressing itself

To a particular problem as old

As the hills. It has no

Stake in the outcome, in anything,

And the problem isn’t yours,

Though you’ll be affected by it.

Sometimes it’s nice just to lie

Around talking, the demands of sex

And other things pushed

Aside. My heart is so crazy

I like it all—landscape

As it might be represented by a table

Or a chair. It beats living. Suddenly

We know it died at Inspiration Point;

The whole cost, the ladders

Of history to a well in your eyes. It’s true we

Maybe won’t pass this way again, but the

Light is all bottled inside you.

from Ashbery: Collected Poems 1956-1987 (© 1956-1987 Estate of John Ashbery. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc.)

 

The New Spirit (excerpt)

I thought that if I could put it all down, that would be one way. And next the thought came to me that to leave all out, would be another, and truer, way.

clean-washed sea

The flowers were.

These are examples of leaving out. But, forget as we will, something soon comes to stand in their place. Not the truth, perhaps, but—yourself It is you who made this, therefore you are true. But the truth has passed on

 to divide all.

Have I awakened? Or is this sleep again? Another form of sleep? There is no profile in the massed days ahead. They are impersonal as mountains whose tops are hidden in cloud. The middle of the journey, before the sands are reversed: a place of ideal quiet.

You are my calm world. This is my happiness. To stand, to go forward into it. The cost is enormous. Too much for one life.

from Three Poems (© 1972 Estate of John Ashbery. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc.)