The moves of a poem by, say, Ashberry or O'Hara, needn't be understood at the level of content -- which is to say, who cares about O'Hara's proper name dropping or his scene? What matters is following an amazing and playful mind move.
Took the words out of my mouth.
This is not at all my favorite Ashbery book, though. I'll still stand by Flow Chart or Houseboat Days, depending on what day you ask.
The comments at the second link above brushed over Harryette Mullen, so I was going to leave the following comment, but typepad.com seems to be out.
While I am an amateur poet who took a workshop with Harryette Mullen, I disagree with the comment that her audience is just as full of poets as anyone else's. IIRC, she teaches some pretty general courses (1st year comp?), and so probably connects with a different audience that way. Plus, she is the author of lines like "My honeybunch's peepers are nothing like neon. Today's special at Red Lobster is redder than her kisser. If Liquid Paper is white, her racks are institutional beige." (From "Dim Lady", an n+7ish thing on Shakespeare). Her humor and playfulness might get her a different kind of audience, even while she continues doing things that are interesting to the technicians and the amateurs.
I'm a big fan of Ashbery's style and work, but I'm not sure exactly where to jump into the discussion there, so I'll just hang out.
Ashbery cropped up at Werdenfield too. Well, kind of.