Slowly as from the center of some diamond
You begin to take in the world as it moves
In toward you, part of its own burden of thought, rather
Idle musing, afternoons listing toward some sullen
Unexpected end. Seen from inside all is
Abruptness. As though to get out your eye
Sharpens and sharpens these particulars; no
Longer visible, they breathe in multicolored
Parentheses the way love in short periods
Puts everything out of focus, coming and going.

Thus your only world is an inside one
Ironically fashioned out of external phenomena
Having no rhyme or reason, and yet neither
An existence independent of foreboding and sly grief.
Nothing anybody says can make a difference; inversely
You are a victim of their lack of consequence
Buffeted by invisible winds, or yet a flame yourself
Without meaning, yet drawing satisfaction
From the crevices of that wind, living
In that flame’s idealized shape and duration.

-- from 'Fragment'; John Ashbery

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