Pointed to it — that old shotgun, what

happened to Mohea’s shotgun?  Gave us it

and her guitar I’m thinking to you, remember?

There’s a wealth of nations in the shelves

nations of summer, or in the lazy susan.

What was the can with the hatchet and chief?

Baking powder, I remember everything.

The lazy susan smelled fifty-eight years old,

corn starch, canned tomatoes, canned soup.

Come to me across the wide Missouri, the

Colorado, the Gila, the Verde, the Salt . . .

 

The reason I love you aside from tradition

it was a pure elliptical language of the long day

Do you know what you’re saying?  For,

I’m tired of all the traditions — Are you

tired of the cohesiveness you’ve brought us?

We all originated in being attached

with spaces to disappear into I have needed

my upbringing as a highstrung westerner

different but from where I was from.  In the

 

first stories I lead everyone across the land-

scape I know to a hollow in a rock wall.  See?

Thought blows through it and comes back.  From who?

Always someone there Pepe Le Pew

Minnie the Mooch or the mind I projected

into the void to rebound and love us, cover us

with crocheted shawls.  But we the dead are really

in that void.  I throw my voice . . .  But it is really

ours.  Senor Wences, the scant rain, the pale

Mohave with the tatooed chin, Danny Andrade,

everyone you ever took to heart.  Can it be enough

to do for an eternity?  You are starring in where.

Making my thought as script across

the galaxy of danger and flight.  I flew to you

and do, he says,

 

I have sonar, vibrating intelligence.  Active,

there’s so much room for the words to enact

and perform between the houses of our minds

along the cosmic dust trail.  This is the real. 

 

 

 

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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