Ron Kolm

The Ascension of John Ashbery

John Ashbery read
At Poets House.

He read downstairs
Surrounded by a hushed
And adoring crowd.

He was comfortably seated
In a movable chair and
After reading his poetry
He stayed in that fixture
As he was helped out of the room
And up to the second floor
Where the bulk of the library is
And where wine
Was being served.

It seemed as if the entire crowd
Of well-wishers was pitching in
To raise him up
With their collective will
So that he appeared to float
Above us all.

He would eventually rise
All the way up
To Frank O’hara’s Heaven.

But not yet,
Not yet.

Love Songs

I know a lovely lady
With a generous heart—
Together we read
Leonard Cohen’s poems.

“Turn off the lights
And lower the shade,”
She laughs,
“This bed’s about to sail!”

I fire up my laptop
Filling the room with music.

Ron Kolm is a contributing editor of Sensitive Skin magazine, and the author of Divine Comedy, Night Shift and A Change in the Weather. He's had work in Great Weather for Media, Maintenant, Local Knowledge and The Opiate. Ron’s papers are archived in the New York University library.