30th Birthday Poem by Alice Notley

30th Birthday

Rating: 4.5


May I never be afraid
especially of myself
but
Muhammed Ali are you telling
the truth?
Well you're being true aren't you and
you talk so wonderfully in your body
that protects you with physique of voice
raps within dance
May I never be afraid

rocked and quaked
the mantilla is lace
whose black is oak
But if I'm dark I'm strong
as my own darkness
my strength the universe
whose blackness is air
only starry
lace
But if I'm alive I'm strong
as life
Strong as the violets
in Marlon Brando's fist
his dissemblance flourished into truth
She
took them
I'd take me too
I do
and my Ali I see you
a hard bright speck of me
the savage formalist
authentic deed of gossip
a kind body

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Alice Notley

Arizona / United States
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