my tee-shirt is insideout
so I can't see the words I'm
wearing.  They're backwards
next to my chest.
This is being casually dressed,
is a possible fashion, and also odd.


Now it's nearly summer,
most of a year gone since I began this poem. 

In the Alpine Garden at the Jardin des Plantes
blue things are back, dark blue on stalks.
Despite pollution that's
visible, breathable everywhere. Period.  
Nobody reallycares. 
We're selfish and stupid.  Still.


This asshole prof. crit.
asserts that a certain novel
by his otherwise hallowed subject is flawed
because it features the minds and vocab
of "two unintelligent women"
just some vapid showgirls.

				  Nobody knows who
lives in this world.
At any rate, no one "intelligent" seems to know.


I forget why she said that
I didn't belong there.  The real
reason is that she doesn't
like my poems.
I sort of like the fact that she dislikes them
that she's so programmed
I've enjoyed being scornful, in my life
					       When I was
young, a child and perfect, I didn't
but that was before I knew how wide-
spread sexism is, even 
among my sex.  This woman thinks I'm
courtesy of my first husband.
That's my just name...that's
my career.
		One purpose of heights
is to be scornful from them, 
so I will probably still maintain some.
Scorn as a value.  


A door of the caves opens out
onto level ground today
the landscape out there's partly cloud-covered
dark sky over far hills -- Arizona.

But I want to be near the tomb and so wish myself down.

I'm the knight again, in mail and red cloth,
nothing happens.  Mitch, Hardknight, nothing's happening
because I have my period and can't think.

You don't have to think, he says

The tomb's like a hawk, a mask, I say, No it's stupid a cliche

Not stupid, he says, If you will die.
Is everyone who ever lived here? Yes.


Someone has come to fix the plumbing.
About time...

in the living room's a whole young
punkish culture, well, really
bleachhaired kids dressed in black body-pierced
their folkways
probably won't make it out of this living room
won't last past their 30th year
so talk to them now; it's fun
Hi, kids.


We're letting him be an alcoholic
it's not as bad as letting everyone
drive their silly-fuck cars.
Anyway he's dead; we already did it
the doorbell rings, I answer it
It's the plumber again
he wants to finish the job and we've
already paid him.
But I thought it was supposed to leak...
until there was an absolute flood and the whole
structure collapsed...His name is Jim.
Isn't everyone's.  I really don't
want him to fix my plumbing.


Being scornful I seem to begrudge
X her moment of pure self
It's okay she still has it.  Unless I kill her, maybe...
she actually begrudges me mine all the time
denying the existence of a pure self.  That's
what the Oppressors do...
what they've always done.  Though Xtians
say the pure self's there after you've done what they say
taken a bath to their prescription.
Actually the Illuminati of every discipline
are careful to say You must do as I do
to be yourself.  And don't be irritable

Without irritation, seven French monks 
had their heads chopped off
by Muslim extremists, 
last week, in Algeria.


Hand holds reddish grail cup
reddish trim, glass --
scrollwork delicate but commonplace in conception
well made beachware-type ware.


Everyone's coughing this week
pollution or pollen? Who knows

Who I am is worn inside
not social like words on a shirt
...Is that good or bad or is
Obviously, is

no plaque on the tomb
no words on the shirt

The East Village Poetry Web
Alice Notley