Stalker Poem by Alice Notley


The light so thick nothing's visible, cognoscenti
I knew them, stupid apes. Real apes know more
Before we said apes. I know how to be you bet-
ter — a stupid voice. You must find a mind
to respect — why? There was someone with ear
buds, speaking gibberish who wouldn't
stop walking beside me; freckle-spattered. I
had to ask the métro attendant for help;
she extricated him from me ... I respect his chaotic
speech, mild adhesive force because it makes no sense.
I am back on the alley, discovering adults are un-
trustworthy: someone's lying ... about a
fight between a teenage girl and boy — he pushed
her hard — first she badly scratched him, she's worse, his
mother says. I'm back at pre-beginning, I don't
want to go through that again. There is no
sexuality in chaos, there's no style, nor
hope. I want style — apes have style, people
have machines. Show me something to respect
This bleuet growing out of a wall on rue d'Hauteville.
I picked it and pressed it in a diary. Every once
in a while I respect a moment. I am back at
pre-beginning: I don't want to care beyond
this ... sudden hue in the sand, yellow or spotted with an
hallucinated iridescence. The one who is
stalking me ... there has often been someone stalk-
ing me. My destiny. He's gone, stay here
in this, I can't be harmed if I'm the only one who's
thought of being here. Aren't you lonely? I don't know.

Alice Notley

Alice Notley

Arizona / United States
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