Note from Christy: A monostich, according to Wikipedia, is “a poem which consists of a single line. (It) has been described as ‘a startling fragment that has its own integrity’  and ‘if a monostich has an argument, it is necessarily more subtle.’ ”
THE CATHEDRAL IS
slated for demolition.
I HAD THOUGHT THINGS WERE GOING ALONG WELL
But I was mistaken.
OUT OVER THE BAY THE RATTLE OF FIRECRACKERS
And, in the adjacent waters, calm.
WE WERE ON THE TERRACE DRINKING GIN AND TONICS
When the squall hit.
All four poems are from Ashbery’s As We Know (1979)
John Ashbery, July 28, 1927 – September 3, 2017.
“John Ashbery, a Singular Poet Whose Influence Was Broad, Dies at 90” via The New York Times
“Read John Ashbery’s Poetry” via The New York Times
“John Ashbery Changed the Rules of American Poetry” via The New Yorker
“Poet John Ashbery dies age 90” via The Guardian
From Christy: I confess, I’ve never really “got” or “understood” Ashbery’s poetry; his monolithes and haiku are more up my alley than his longer pieces. But I like what Megan O’Rourke said, as quoted by The Guardian’s article above: Writing for Slate, the critic and poet Meghan O’Rourke advised readers “not to try to understand the poems but to try to take pleasure from their arrangement, the way you listen to music”. Perhaps I’ll take her advice and try again some time. And if I’m still confused–which I’m sure to be–I’ll take solace in the following: Interviewed by the Associated Press in 2008, Ashbery joked that if he could turn his name into a verb, “to Ashbery”, it would mean “to confuse the hell out of people”.