THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY? A cento for John Ashbery

by Thomas Blake

Little man, what now?
Who’s got the action?
The last of the secret agents?
Is everybody happy?

Are you listening?
Is my face red?
How do I love thee?
How would you like to be the ice man?

Will success spoil Rock Hunter?
What’s up, Tiger Lily?
Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Whatever happened to Aunt Alice?

Are these our parents?
Are parents people?
What do you say to a naked lady?
Are all men alike?

Isn’t life terrible?
Isn’t it romantic?
Are we civilized?
What price Hollywood?

Where do we go from here?
Are we there yet?
Are we done yet?

Where was I?
When do we eat?
Does it end right?
Where is my wandering boy tonight?