Our PoemTalkers – this time Gregory Djanikian, Tom Devaney and Jessica Lowenthal – gathered to talk about a late poem by John Ashbery, “Crossroads in the Past,” from his book Your Name Here (2000). Amid the usual Ashberyean ontological bounty here’s a poem that disentangles the crossed lines of narrative middles and ends (and beginnings). Straightens things out, or at least imagines the goodness of such straightness. And indulges in a nostalgia for the way things were at the start.
Listen to more from the PoemTalk series —
Bob Holman spent a few hours away from the at-times paradisal Bowery Poetry Club to help us (PoemTalk regulars Jessica Lowenthal and Randall Couch) figure out what sort of beloved community Jerome Rothenberg had in mind when he wrote his possibly programmatic poem, “A Paradise of Poets”.