Woman In Front Of Poster Of Herself Poem by Alice Notley

Woman In Front Of Poster Of Herself

Rating: 4.0


Said I shouldn't.
Fingering me.
Everything I did.
A litter of chewed knucklebones
I've spread them out over the
rectangular floor as regularly as
I can; so I can account for them.
Her hands are crossed over
her breasts and each holds
a feather; her face has no features
Have I come to beg
What do I wish — to be
judged?
Is it an accumulation
of what I've said, that
counts, that I'm counting
is it all alphabet and abacus
everything rhymed?
You still don't have a face.
Suddenly she has the face of a
cat.
No that's a different
goddess.
I tell you this
bloodthirsty
jaguar...
I don't have any idea what my word is, I
mean fault. Is it a word or an act. The
whole thrill is ripping me apart
Inside these
words there's nothing but a pumping
bloodsoaked...
but clearly, everything I said, did,
was a long shot
We didn't hear a word
What have you ever heard?
Now I'm here — black-caped in a
chair. Animal staring at me
I sink into your disaffected
ambiance to name.
What emotional
charges
have been laid on me from
earliest times
and my own
earliest
resulting in the bone strewn carpet
I had to grow the dice
of accounting to your love; for
you made me speak to you
lovingly; or did I do that naturally
oh just, bloodthirsty face
who doesn't have to understand.
I don't know who I'm speaking to
is pushing me
Judgment maybe it's when being
fragile I
hallucinate you best
I don't want to use my name!
'Where I was born we girls ran
free. and named ourselves,'
Justice says.
She may kill me,
it depends on whether she's hungry

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Alice Notley

Arizona / United States
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