I kept having to be someone else. That’s in the past

The oppressive purple-blue sky is transitional im-

prints lost, I can hear no echo from the future

The spaces

between actions defined by all others growing

larger; it’s an opera of my cunning now. I’m

going to charm you towards our mad goal,

 

 

the only thing possible. Is your heart pure, yes? no?;

mine will never be, will it? What do you want?

We want shapes we like. I got shot in a finger

of my left hand; there was so much going on I forgot

to tell anyone, but it kept bleeding then I had to.

All the small words got in the way again, I couldn’t

explain in a flash. Then it appeared to be healing

like the sky with its scab. You can take this away with you

What?

It won’t break. But I don’t understand it. You

don’t have to

 

Leading her to where it shifts its

scarlet in communicating its becoming a fact.

Will the fact disappear like all the other ones?

Did anything stay true, when you died?

Only my relation to some people

there’s a substantial obligation — between

the two substances life and death. What are they

like? When you are being it, the wind blows

full of silver and gold.

 

 

 

9780819569561Alice Notley has published over thirty books of poetry, including (most recently) Songs and Stories of the Ghouls, Negativity’s Kiss, and the chapbook Secret I D.  With her sons Anselm and Edmund Berrigan, she edited both The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan and The Selected Poems of Ted Berrigan.  Notley has received many awards including the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Award, the Griffin Prize, two NEA Grants, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry.  She lives and writes in Paris, France.

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