by Alice Notley

	Mommy what's this fork doing?
	It's being Donald Duck.

	What could I eat this?
			       Eat what?
	This cookie.
		     What do you mean?
	What could I eat it?

Does he bite people? That fish is dead. That fish got
dead today. That fish gets dead today, right?

	These are my silver mittens Mommy
	No, it's gold, they're gold mittens

	On myself
	I put my black
	and my mit-

Edmund. Edmund. Edmund.   Maaaah.  Lodle Lodle Lodle

Daddy, the doctor did put a wart on you,

I touch the purple petals
She says Hey!

		 The flower says, we are purple,
	they touch purple it keeps purple
	purple means us, here.
	The air moved a person. I like people
	because they're as serious
	as I am. Being purple is very serious.
	It's dense and still.
	It's a matter of fact
	but light seems it.
	I seem the light
	makes me feel purple.
	A petal is crumpling I've done
		   I sleep in the bulb.
		   Being purple is long.

	Crumpling is not as serious
	as being purple

	           (I may disagree.)

	I'm not not serious not smiling.
	I'm smiling
	as crumpling
	only a little now.
	I'm mostly staying seriously purple now.

Do you remember when you were like Edmund?
What did you do?
		 crawled with him.
Do you remember last year?
	                   Yeah, Mommy, what did you
do when you be Anselm?

	The jacket is furniture.
	I have to fix, Mommy.
	I have to fix all the tools.
I'm in the snow and my feet go in the footprints.

I'll look up "love" in the dictionary. They're beautiful.
Bodily they're incomprehensible. I can't tell if they're
me or not. They think I'm their facility. We're all about
as comprehensible as the crocuses. In myself I'm like a
color except not in the sense of a particular one. That's
impossible. That's under what I keep trying out. With
which I can practically pass for an adult to myself. Some
of it is pretty and useful, like when I say to them
"Now will I take you for a walk in the snow to the store"
and prettily and usefully we go. Mommy, the lovely
creature. You should have seen how I looked last night,
Bob Dylan Bob Creeley Bob Rosenthal Bob on Sesame Street.
Oh I can't think of any other Bobs right now. garbage.
It perks. Thy tiger, thy night are magnificent,

it's ten below zero deep deep down deep in my abdomen.
It pulls me up and leads me about the house. It's got the
sun in the morning and the moon at night. It does
anything in the world of particulars without wanting.
The anyone careless love sees that everything goes, minds.
The melody was upsidedown, now the melody turns over.
One note: my feet go.

	30 years old married 4 years 2 children
	is the same little girl in the yard
 	until dusk and into night
	in air with myself, others
	has a mother and father
	                        nature (courage)
	smiles frankly at the camera don't
	blot your anonymity your littleness
	child you are is the source of all
	honesty bliss at dusk in Chicago
	is face you've ever been
	               		and almost before
	dusky the child you are
 	handsome you're head-to-toe

It's too early. It's too dark. If I can't watch TV I'll
turn on the light and look at stars.

I see 2 full moons.

	I walk.
	I am big.
	I can say
	what they
	say. It's
	fun to
	sound. I
	walk. I am
	big. I finally
	get the blue
	and red container
	of . . .

    the trees have no leaves they lean
    like her over the snow and green
    wire fence of the school
                             the sky
    is white low low low
                         Greggy Ruthy
    and Jill are there

Daddy tomorrow we'll have donuts and chocolate soda
and my birthday party and eat snow and throw snow and
make snowmen.

He'll take off your wart tomorrow and you won't be sick.

My armpits smell like chicken soup. But really I hate them
because of their tacky and unchanging book collection. My
head weighs too much on the pillow. I have to sweat. I'm
crying free water don't worry. Under your tongue looks like
pussy. You seem to bloom. The colors are brighter but I
think I'm deaf.
	        I'm remembering all my dogs.
One was taken away because he howled too much and my
parents said he wanted to fight in World War II and so joined
the army. All things considered there's nothing to say for
Chicago. I dreamed you led an army of empty pieplates
against another one. I dreamed you had a baby. I despise 
someone. I have to sweat. I need you to stop this train.

	I didn't lose any weight today
	I had clean hair but I drove
	Ted nuts and spanked Anselm on
	the arm and wouldn't converse
	with him about the letter C. And
	didn't take Edmund out or change
	the way the house smells or not
	drink and take a pill and had to watch
	John Adams on TV
	                  and fantasized
	about powers of ESP when on LSD--
	there is no room for fantasy in
	the head except as she speaks.
	The Holy Ghost is the definitive
	renegade like in the white falling-out
	chair stuffing, 2 chairs
				asking me if
	I liked my life. I thought she 
	meant my life and said
				 how could
	you dislike being a poet? and having
	children is only human
	she meant my chairs. The
	trouble is the children distribute
	the stuffing to the wind. It's
	soft and pliant and they can do it
	intimately together.
	There are 4 green sunbursts on the
	curtain. Oh it is a cold night but
	the jade plant will handle it.

	Came in from the snow and melted on
    	   the floor. There's
	Glistening where Jill and Ruthy's feet
	Sat Ruthy with braids and colored
	Yarn in her hair, a girl
	Beauty cars go by to hitch
	Away on
		    Is it their rumble
	That comforts? Or this room full
	Of everyone who's sat making
	Stuffing appear from the
	Chairs, and flowers too last years

They just want to do their yoga too. I guess so. I try
to call up Casey Gold. Some money comes by anyway; the
day brightens, Casey Gold.

	I don't appreciate the simple
	war of nerves
		      my courtesy
	rewarded with a goring
			       is it boring
	the toro rhymes, what else do
	children have to think about?
	well if the cape is all wet it won't
	blow in the wind
		    but I have to check
		    You're still in no condition
	to fight a bull
		    But he found his own . . .
	What a glistening golden 
	         Enough to make one woozy. Matador,
	I am with the wind and unwinding
	am wonderfully useless to you.

(originally published in How Spring Comes, West Branch, Iowa: Toothpaste Press, 1981; later republished in Selected Poems of Alice Notley, Hoboken: Talisman House, 1993)