A poem for Alice Notley

Dana Ward

That Alice Notley & Jay-Z & Dana Would Speak Through The Imperfect Media of Dana

So I’m a Horatio Alger condemned by my desert and city nativity
diamond hand over November the white picket shutter of night’s northern face
down the Rue Caulaincourt St. Mark’s Place & Ft. Thomas
& Marcy I say with impertinence all here together as falsely
though no lie to me,

I began in my wildlife grieving a father
the red cactus flowers of Northern Kentucky grew radiant native to Brooklyn
or warm California is where I had watched the Ohio go by
feeding the East River placidly I learned the criminal confidence
models of style
& thought I would later abandon for some
blazing playground, my modular fear.
I could be beside Sarah
though Doug’s gone & Ted not Beyonce she’s
leaving for work while I sleep and she kisses me I rise
to speak with dead women aspiring talents
& again say the word ‘sea’ to discover the depths of an outgoing lane.

No one can separate my owl ferocity
Out from my supine champagne slouch
my Immanent flow from my metrical dead lock my dreams
from my knowledge of death or my grief.
The self I make up from constituent loves is a singular
thing that the market can alter the horror
of being unloved, selling poorly & each new occasion
may change it forever from standing
on that corner bopping to finding the measure I need
for Alette

They, in this case, are for all of me, haters
would take from me my puerile hagiography
my un-bowing love & its matter, truth, too, matter simple
my quantum mechanics of new class mobility (rhyme)
where I vacate my poverty much maligned but
beautiful my easy money life my
Idiotic misogynist past with my magically honored
femininity, mother of best friend to lover & reader of mysteries
courtside or close to the bar

I brighten the water with ash
but they’d have me drink it before its impurities
purify me but don’t hide the corrosive dumb fact
I can move my hand into the diamond (again as a heraldry)
take up the pen or pull words from the air
in the booth or a room which where poetry happens
the water is crystalline desert dew city block raindrop & money-green Mediterranean swallowed by me in my happiest thirst.

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

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