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Premiered on Jun. 6, 2015 in Baltimore, MD By Joshua Glassman and the Mt. Vernon Consort Ashbery’s poem begins with a profound question: how do the few words we take on as a name describe our essence? The poem meditates on our feelings of connection and otherness, whether that between connection to others or otherness from ourselves. After following this looping train of thought, Ashbery’s ruminations conclude in part by throwing the question out the window, sidestepping these labels “now that the end is near,” and wishing simply that he and the one he addresses be near each other, whomever they each are or whatever they are called. “Just Walking Around” from A WAVE by John Ashbery. Copyright © 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 by John Ashbery. Reprinted by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc., on behalf of the author. All rights reserved.