The toad king in his wheelchair at the interview table
enjoys being half-deaf to his acolytes. That reminds me,
Mark Strand was once asked on an occasion like this,
do you make up your own ideas, or do they come to you?
Back home his typewriter awaits him like a taxi cab meter
that turns idle thoughts into poetry. Sincerity was fine in its day,
but he moved us forward into languorous irony, sexual & timely.
Now he fingers a philosopher’s pencil. Or doesn’t. Either way,
the tall, serious girl wouldn’t dare to appear unless she’s in
somebody else’s poem. The dachshund peeking out from under
the table’s black bunking is stealing the show, the poet’s dog
glad not to be a right or a left shoe on this heavenly day indoors.
John Ashbery wrote “Homeschooled” so you don’t have to.