from Disobedience
by Alice Notley

"biggest problem in the world now is unity"

...lovely? Internet, business, the English language, no nature
beautiful...you're in charge, you member you
of the elite educated class it's all up to you to what
you choose to buy--the job you have
(what nearly lost culture
are you fucking over today?...)

And I assisting in this gruesome unification
by emigrating from America to France.

Perhaps Hardwood will take me on a tour of
Our Loss--later?
The soul's confidante as vital to her as I am to you dear.

A smell of sun-baked earth water origanum and also
a clove-scented flower

That tree with crimson blossoms gold-centered
almost opened up what memory center in me?
But it won't come.
It was some sort of happiness.
The happiness oozed up materially.

Where is the story the path through
I want a unity for it--because I,
      I am unified exactly
the human world is unified in a different way...
by technology and aggression.

The detective's standing in the middle
of this giant cavern again, in his giant giant coat and big
        "Let's find something," he says
        I follow the swish of his cloth
this room is white. (I think he is will)
A tiny theatre a play on the floor the size of a fire in a fireplace
white-yellow-red figures, the red blossoms from the Jardin "blooming"
I remember seeing them in this future that's why they were so poignant.

The reason it's, whatever, is even more in memory:
your job's constantly to make your life "Why?"
as a person not a poet "Why?"
That's Soul asking and Hardwood thinks he knows
"Because otherwise there isn't time to"
But it doesn't have to get made I say, does an owl make
her life on reflection? "She doesn't have to she can fly
flight is like thought Who's speaking Soul pushes Hardwood away He's
doing all the thinking No who's thinking.

Down in caves another time, down a musée-like cavern
walls of blank rock behind panes of glass
this is supposed to be the tour of our loss
but we've forgotten, now, what animals looked like
can't see our loss.

In the exact world
to make ends meet draw an arrow
a positron moving backwards in time
grasps yesterday quickly before dying.

Down there into real black

Do you need Microsoft Windows

juicy melancholy
remember the first time I
inhaled smog beneath a tangerine sun (I had
a friend now dead who loved that experience.)

Turn on a light, look at wall--
Mitch-ham is here--there's
a column of tiny words
"settle in setback for now
subatomically going backwards
the memory of the puzzle is
to gather a step going forward
I was your anti-particle
in this lightly dualist
world, where Bill Gates you particle
the future, because the immediate past
is rather weak-souled and so you
like a hawk flying to no freedom
on a long string.
(Change immediate past.)"

I need those windows says a new Dante
Oh, great.

"Louis Blanc Il est blanc." Always.

A woman stealing thistles was what I saw last week
in the alpine garden of the Jardin des Plantes
when I was so exquisitely hot     

Pub. May 1998