At Night the States

Alice Notley

 
At night the states
I forget them or I wish I was there
in that one under the
Stars. It smells like June in this night
so sweet like air.
I may have decided that the
States are not that tired
Or I have thought so. I have
thought that.
At night the states
And the world not that tired
of everyone
Maybe. Honey, I think that to
say is in
light. Or whoever. We will
never
replace You. We will never re-
place You. But
in like a dream the floor is no
longer discursive
To me it doesn't please me by
being the vistas out my
window, do you know what
Of course (not) I mean?
I have no dreams of wake-
fulness. In
wakefulness. And so to begin.
(my love.)
At night the states
talk. My initial continuing contra-
diction
my love for you & that for me
deep down in the Purple Plant the oldest
dust
of it is sweetest but sates no longer
how I
would feel. Shirt
that shirt has been in your arms
And I have
that shirt is how I feel
At night the states
will you continue in this as-
sociation of
matters, my Dearest? down
the street from
where the public plaque reminds
that of private
loving the consequential chain
trail is
matters
At night the states
that it doesn't matter that I don't
say them, remember
them at the end of this claustro-
phobic the
dance, I wish I could see I wish
I could
dance her. At this night the states
say them
out there. That I am, am them
indefinitely so and
so wishful passive historic fated
and matter-
simple, matter-simple, an
eyeful. I wish
but I don't and little melody.
Sorry that these
little things don't happen any
more. The states
have drained their magicks
for I have not
seen them. Best not to tell. But
you
you would always remain, I
trust, as I will
always be alone.
At night the states
whistle. Anyone can live. I
can. I am not doing any-
thing doing this. I
discover I love as I figure. Wed-
nesday
I wanted to say something in
particular. I have been
where. I have seen it. The God
can. The people
do some more.
At night the states
I let go of, have let, don't
let
Some, and some, in Florida, doing.
What takes you so
long? I am still with you in that
part of the
park, and vice will continue, but
I'll have
a cleaning Maine. Who loses
these names
loses. I can't bring it up yet,
keeping my
opinions to herself. Everybody in
any room is a
smuggler. I walked fiery and
talked in the
stars of the automatic weapons
and partly for you
Which you. You know.
At night the states
have told it already. Have
told it. I
know it. But more that they
don't know, I
know it too.
At night the states
whom I do stand before in
judgment, I
think that they will find
me fair, not
that they care in fact nor do
I, right now
though indeed I am they and
we say
that not that I've
erred nor
lost my way though perhaps
they did (did
they) and now he is dead
but you
you are not. Yet I am this
one, lost
again? lost & found by one-
self
Who are you to dare sing to me?
At night the states
accompany me while I sit here
or drums
there are alwavs drums what for
so I
won't lose my way the name of
a
personality, say, not California
I am not
sad for you though I could be
I remember
climbing up a hill under tall
trees
getting home. I guess we
got home. I was
going to say that the air was
fair (I was
always saying something like
that) but
that's not it now, and that
that's not it
isn't it either
At night the states
dare sing to me they who seem
tawdry
any more I've not thought I
loved them, only
you it's you whom I love
the states are not good to me as
I am to them
though perhaps I am not
when I think of your being
so beautiful
but is that your beauty
or could it be
theirs I'm having such a
hard time remembering
any of their names
your being beautiful belongs
to nothing
I don't believe they should
praise you
but I seem to believe they
should
somehow let you go
At night the states
and when you go down to
Washington
witness how perfectly anything
in particular
sheets of thoughts what a waste
of sheets at
night. I remember something
about an
up-to-date theory of time. I
have my
own white rose for I have
done
something well but I'm not
clear
what it is. Weathered, perhaps
but that's
never done. What's done is
perfection.
At night the states
ride the train to Baltimore
we will try to acknowledge what was
but that's not the real mirror
is it? nor
is it empty, or only my eyes
are
Ride the car home from Washington
no
they are not. Ride the subway
home from
Pennsylvania Station. The states
are blind eyes
stony smooth shut in moon-
light. My
French is the shape of this
book
that means I.
At night the states
the 14 pieces. I couldn't just
walk on by. Why
aren't they beautiful enough
in a way that does not
beg to wring
something from a dry (wet)
something
Call my name
At night the states
making life, not explaining anything
but all the popular songs say call
my name
oh call my name, and if I call
it out myself to
you, call mine out instead as our
poets do
will you still walk on by? I
have
loved you for so long. You
died
and on the wind they sang
your name to me
but you said nothing. Yet you
said once before
and there it is, there, but it is
so still.
Oh being alone I call out my
name
and once you did and do still in
a way
you do call out your name
to these states whose way is to walk
on by that's why I write too much
At night the states
whoever you love that's who you
love
the difference between chaos and
star I believe and
in that difference they believed
in some
funny way but that wasn't
what I
I believed that out of this
fatigue would be
born a light, what is fatigue
there is a man whose face
changes continually
but I will never, something
I will
never with regard to it or
never regard
I will regard yours tomorrow
I will wear purple will I
and call my name
At night the states
you who are alive, you who are dead
when I love you alone all night and
that is what I do
until I could never write from your
being enough
I don't want that trick of making
it be coaxed from
the words not tonight I want it
coaxed from
myself but being not that. But I'd
feel more
comfortable about it being words
if it
were if that's what it were for these
are the
States where what words are true
are words
Not myself. Montana. Illinois.
Escondido.
 
Alice Notley. "At Night the States" from Grave of Light © 2006 by Alice Notley and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.

Poems by This Author

The Descent of Alette ["A car" "awash with blood"] by Alice Notley
"A car" "awash with blood"
The Descent of Alette ["I stood waiting"] by Alice Notley
"I stood waiting" "for some minutes" "in this very" "alive darkness—"
The Descent of Alette ["I walked into"] by Alice Notley
"I walked into" "the forest;" "for the woods were lit" "by yellow
The Descent of Alette ["Presently"] by Alice Notley
"Presently" "we neared a pale beach," "narrow"
The Descent of Alette ["The water" "of the river"] by Alice Notley
"The water" "of the river" "was mild-
Hematite Heirloom Lives On (Maybe December 1980) by Alice Notley
Individual Time by Alice Notley
I'm calling out from pictures to your vision creating it
No world is intact by Alice Notley
No world is intact
Poem by Alice Notley
St. Mark's Place caught at night in hot summer
Poem by Alice Notley
You hear that heroic big land music
Poem by Alice Notley
Why do I want to tell it
Woman in Front of Poster of Herself by Alice Notley
Said I shouldn't
World's Bliss by Alice Notley
The men & women sang & played


Further Reading

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