Treasure Island

Anne Waldman

(1945 / New Jersey / United States)

Fast Speaking Woman [Excerpt]


woman never under your thumb, says
skull that was a head, says
bloodshot eyes, says
I'm the Kali woman the killer woman
women with salt on her tongue
fire that cleans
fire that catches
fire burns hotter as I go
woman traded her secrets never, says
woman reversed the poles, says
woman never left America to know this
but she did, says, she did leave
woman combs snakes out of her hair
woman combs demons out of her hair
woman lies down with the cobra
then meditates under cobra canopy
woman had a bone in her throat, says
was it yours? says
she admits she has a taste for you, says
she's cannibal woman, Kali woman
woman's tongue once split in ten directions
one: I'm a savage woman
two: I'm the rutting woman
three: I'm the fire dancer with coal-black feet
four: Im the old-time thinker
five: poseur woman
six: I'm the redacteur
seven: auteur
eight: I haunt you with my songs
nine: I was the nun
now I am bound by desire again
ten: I'm the cittipatti woman
the dancing-skull woman
mouth is moving, says
skull-mouth moving, says
says these things
says terrible things as I go
mouth is gaping
tongue is bleeding
everywhere suffering, as I go
I'm the celebrity woman
I'm the luminary woman
I'm the standout woman
I'm the braggart woman
I'm the shrew at the window woman
I'm the stigma woman
the beaten woman
the disgraced woman
hag woman
where will I go?
who will have me?
water clean me
water clean me, as I go
I'm the camouflaged woman
I'm the assuaged woman
I'm the ravenous woman
I'm the Kali Yuga woman
high-pitched woman
not a trifling woman
hissing woman
I'm the woman with the fangs
I'm the woman with the guns
I'm the woman with tomes
I'm the hook woman
I'm the stolen book woman
fire that burns as I go
woman was in the world was walking
woman was singing sounding the day away
sounds like a cranky old machine, someone said
(that someone was a mean man, mean child-man)
but she just ignored the cranky old machine part
& went on her way
woman took her haughty self out of the sky
she had a nose that tall
how tall?
that
& stuck up it was
mincy mincy mincy mincy she cried
mincy mincy mincy
she was burning all right
her house (the one she carried on her head) was afire

Submitted: Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Edited: Wednesday, April 02, 2014

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