Alice Notley

Rating: 4.33
Rating: 4.33

Alice Notley Poems

I forget them or I wish I was there
in that one under the

St. Mark's Place caught at night in hot summer,
Lonely from the beginning of time until now.

I'm calling out from pictures to your vision creating it
turn right, that dream building cutglass window in door.

May I never be afraid
especially of myself

it would be that
but only if I knew how

'The water' 'of the river' 'was mild-temperatured,' 'the current
gentle' 'I soon began' 'to swim—' 'in a moonless,' 'starless darkness'

'Presently' 'we neared a pale beach,' 'narrow' 'with trees behind it'
'thick & blue-black,' '& lights' 'many lights' 'deep inside the'

Said Let there be lightbulbs & liquefaction
Life spilled out onto the street, colors whirled

and no one cares about you.
I leaned down over

Said I shouldn't.
Fingering me.

The men & women sang & played
they sleep by singing, what

'I walked into' 'the forest; ' 'for the woods were lit' 'by yellow
street lamps' 'along various' 'dirty pathways' 'I paused a moment'


You hear that heroic big land music?
Land a one could call one.


Why do I want to tell it
it was the afternoon of November

'I stood waiting' 'for some minutes' 'in this very' 'alive darkness—'
'the air so vibrant,' 'the trees awake' 'There were flowers,' 'mixed

I don't have any sentiments
would somebodything thirst my quench

All things belie me, I think, but I
look at them though. Well boys, at


The late Gracie Allen was a very lucid comedienne,
Especially in the way that lucid means shining and bright.
What her husband George Burns called her illogical logic


What I lose you let me, accusation
always gets one in. But I want to talk like the dead
remember that town where we went or
how do I know when I'm just a soul — not

There is
there is

Alice Notley Biography

Alice Notley (born 8 November 1945) is an American poet. She was born in Bisbee, Arizona and grew up in Needles, California. She received a B.A. from Barnard College in 1967 and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1969. In 1972, she married poet Ted Berrigan, with whom she was active in the Chicago poetry scene and with whom she had two sons. In the early 1970s, she became rooted in New York City's Lower East Side, where she was an important force from 1976 through 1992. After Berrigan died in 1983, Notley raised their two sons in New York's East Village by herself for several years while continuing to develop her poetry. In 1992, she moved to Paris with her second husband, the British poet Douglas Oliver (1937–2000). She lives in Paris currently, making several trips to the United States each year to give readings and teach writing classes. Notley has earned a reputation as one of the most challenging and engaging poets at work today. Fiercely independent, she has never tried to be anything other than a poet, and all of her ancillary activities have been directed to that end.[citation needed] She is the author of over twenty-five books of poetry, and also the author of a book of essays on poets and poetry, Coming After. Alice Notley was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. In spring 2001, she received an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award. She edited and wrote a new introduction to her late husband Ted Berrigan's The Sonnets (Penguin, 2000). Notley edited The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan (UC, 2005) with her sons, the poets Anselm Berrigan and Edmund Berrigan. On October 3, 2007, The Academy of American Poets announced its selection of Notley's Grave of Light: New and Selected Poems 1970–2005 for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. In 1997, she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.)

The Best Poem Of Alice Notley

At Night The States

I forget them or I wish I was there
in that one under the
Stars. It smells like June in this night
so sweet like air.
I may have decided that the
States are not that tired
Or I have thought so. I have
thought that.
At night the states
And the world not that tired
of everyone
Maybe. Honey, I think that to
say is in
light. Or whoever. We will
replace You. We will never re-
place You. But
in like a dream the floor is no
longer discursive
To me it doesn't please me by
being the vistas out my
window, do you know what
Of course (not) I mean?
I have no dreams of wake-
fulness. In
wakefulness. And so to begin.
(my love.)
At night the states
talk. My initial continuing contra-
my love for you & that for me
deep down in the Purple Plant the oldest
of it is sweetest but sates no longer
how I
would feel. Shirt
that shirt has been in your arms
And I have
that shirt is how I feel
At night the states
will you continue in this as-
sociation of
matters, my Dearest? down
the street from
where the public plaque reminds
that of private
loving the consequential chain
trail is
At night the states
that it doesn't matter that I don't
say them, remember
them at the end of this claustro-
phobic the
dance, I wish I could see I wish
I could
dance her. At this night the states
say them
out there. That I am, am them
indefinitely so and
so wishful passive historic fated
and matter-
simple, matter-simple, an
eyeful. I wish
but I don't and little melody.
Sorry that these
little things don't happen any
more. The states
have drained their magicks
for I have not
seen them. Best not to tell. But
you would always remain, I
trust, as I will
always be alone.
At night the states
whistle. Anyone can live. I
can. I am not doing any-
thing doing this. I
discover I love as I figure. Wed-
I wanted to say something in
particular. I have been
where. I have seen it. The God
can. The people
do some more.
At night the states
I let go of, have let, don't
Some, and some, in Florida, doing.
What takes you so
long? I am still with you in that
part of the
park, and vice will continue, but
I'll have
a cleaning Maine. Who loses
these names
loses. I can't bring it up yet,
keeping my
opinions to herself. Everybody in
any room is a
smuggler. I walked fiery and
talked in the
stars of the automatic weapons
and partly for you
Which you. You know.
At night the states
have told it already. Have
told it. I
know it. But more that they
don't know, I
know it too.
At night the states
whom I do stand before in
judgment, I
think that they will find
me fair, not
that they care in fact nor do
I, right now
though indeed I am they and
we say
that not that I've
erred nor
lost my way though perhaps
they did (did
they) and now he is dead
but you
you are not. Yet I am this
one, lost
again? lost & found by one-
Who are you to dare sing to me?
At night the states
accompany me while I sit here
or drums
there are alwavs drums what for
so I
won't lose my way the name of
personality, say, not California
I am not
sad for you though I could be
I remember
climbing up a hill under tall
getting home. I guess we
got home. I was
going to say that the air was
fair (I was
always saying something like
that) but
that's not it now, and that
that's not it
isn't it either
At night the states
dare sing to me they who seem
any more I've not thought I
loved them, only
you it's you whom I love
the states are not good to me as
I am to them
though perhaps I am not
when I think of your being
so beautiful
but is that your beauty
or could it be
theirs I'm having such a
hard time remembering
any of their names
your being beautiful belongs
to nothing
I don't believe they should
praise you
but I seem to believe they
somehow let you go
At night the states
and when you go down to
witness how perfectly anything
in particular
sheets of thoughts what a waste
of sheets at
night. I remember something
about an
up-to-date theory of time. I
have my
own white rose for I have
something well but I'm not
what it is. Weathered, perhaps
but that's
never done. What's done is
At night the states
ride the train to Baltimore
we will try to acknowledge what was
but that's not the real mirror
is it? nor
is it empty, or only my eyes
Ride the car home from Washington
they are not. Ride the subway
home from
Pennsylvania Station. The states
are blind eyes
stony smooth shut in moon-
light. My
French is the shape of this
that means I.
At night the states
the 14 pieces. I couldn't just
walk on by. Why
aren't they beautiful enough
in a way that does not
beg to wring
something from a dry (wet)
Call my name
At night the states
making life, not explaining anything
but all the popular songs say call
my name
oh call my name, and if I call
it out myself to
you, call mine out instead as our
poets do
will you still walk on by? I
loved you for so long. You
and on the wind they sang
your name to me
but you said nothing. Yet you
said once before
and there it is, there, but it is
so still.
Oh being alone I call out my
and once you did and do still in
a way
you do call out your name
to these states whose way is to walk
on by that's why I write too much
At night the states
whoever you love that's who you
the difference between chaos and
star I believe and
in that difference they believed
in some
funny way but that wasn't
what I
I believed that out of this
fatigue would be
born a light, what is fatigue
there is a man whose face
changes continually
but I will never, something
I will
never with regard to it or
never regard
I will regard yours tomorrow
I will wear purple will I
and call my name
At night the states
you who are alive, you who are dead
when I love you alone all night and
that is what I do
until I could never write from your
being enough
I don't want that trick of making
it be coaxed from
the words not tonight I want it
coaxed from
myself but being not that. But I'd
feel more
comfortable about it being words
if it
were if that's what it were for these
are the
States where what words are true
are words
Not myself. Montana. Illinois.

Alice Notley Comments

Nathan Coppedge 26 March 2014

The poems about the Descent of Alette are some of the most meaningful poems I believe to be written today in the United States. I particularly love the poem titled 'I stood waiting'. If poets love compliments, it is worth saying that these are quite lyrical. I find a stunning similarity to the best phrases in my own work (although not my poems, but miscellaneous writings which are just as good) particularly emotional qualities.

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