Mommy what's this fork doing? What? 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 hat and my mit- tens, myself. Edmund. Edmund. Edmund. Maaaah. Lodle Lodle Lodle Daddy, the doctor did put a wart on you, right? I touch the purple petals She says Hey! The flower says, we are purple, together 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 before 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? Yeah. 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 . . . sneezes! 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 but 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 something You're still in no condition to fight a bull But he found his own . . . What a glistening golden baby! 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)