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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alice Notley
Alice Notley
Born on November 8, 1945, Alice Notley is the author of many collections of verse and the recipient of the 2007 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize...
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FURTHER READING
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Alice Notley, Culture of One
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Woman in Front of Poster of Herself

 
by Alice Notley

Said I shouldn't.
         Fingering me.
Everything I did.
A litter of chewed knucklebones

I've spread them out over the
rectangular floor as regularly as
I can; so I can account for them.

	

Her hands are crossed over her breasts and each holds a feather; her face has no features Have I come to beg What do I wish — to be judged?
Is it an accumulation of what I've said, that counts, that I'm counting is it all alphabet and abacus everything rhymed?
You still don't have a face.
Suddenly she has the face of a cat.          No that's a different goddess. I tell you this bloodthirsty jaguar . . .
I haven't any idea what my word is, I mean fault. Is it a word or an act. The whole thrill is ripping me apart Inside these words there's nothing but a pumping bloodsoaked . . . but clearly, everything I said, did, was a long shot
We didn't hear a word What have you ever heard?
Now I'm here — black-caped in a chair. Animal staring at me I sink into your disaffected ambiance to name. What emotional charges have been laid on me from earliest times and my own earliest resulting in the bone strewn carpet I had to grow the dice of accounting to your love; for you made me speak to you lovingly; or did I do that naturally oh just, bloodthirsty face who doesn't have to understand. I don't know who I'm speaking to is pushing me
Judgment maybe it's when being fragile I hallucinate you best
I don't want to use my name! "Where I was born we girls ran free. and named ourselves," Justice says. She may kill me, it depends on whether she's hungry









From Songs and Stories of the Ghouls, published by Wesleyan University Press. Copyright © 2011 by Alice Notley. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
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