A response to Alice Notley's 'Sweetheart'

Elizabeth Bryant

O Poem really addressed
to me, it’s you are found indulgent
fit and of comfort, luster, real light
I praise you, thank you
for being what I have tonight

- Alice Notley, 'Sweetheart' (from Margaret and Dusty, Coffee House, 1985)

In the Fleet of Objects

At 11, the moon’s light stains the bedspread in sharp blues. Your fingers turn more bone than white. The shine is a lie but its conquests impress you with the invocation of unseen values. Go to them. They enclose you against the whims of your mother who represents you, and you locate yourself beneath her memory.

This is what you have, then: a dispersal of particles in cahoots with the linens and roughly 100 billion neurons.

Meanwhile, little boats full of people scuttle west to the lighthouse without you. Before he goes he repeats his intent to return, as always. You agree to recall that the river is tidal and has its own circulatory logic. This is your ground amid singular factoids arising from the evening’s mists.

Show your gratitude for loose content, and that what you have is also no longer present.

Constellation: Alice Notley
[#] Birkbeck Centre for Poetics
[#] Openned Video Constellation of Readings
[#] Return to “Intercapillary Space” Notley Contents page


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