Winter smells…

Winter smells
Seep through my closed window

The pure white fire i see
Closer with closed eyes

Winter smells
Burning midnight, so far away
From my window.


Yet I left…

Yet I left: why does it feel like she
abandoned me? She
follows me but still is
always leaving
(or if I am the timeless
Anyway; I know
I’ll see it for days.

(Train platform poor poetry
this won’t carry names.)

Second version

Well you see
the thing with the Dyke is
she only exists in a language I’m not fluent in
There was this time I almost drowned
in a lake first day of May but
water’s still cold water’s still dark
My language had abandoned me
I stood up I still do
before frosted glass
current had
been dried up or maybe
redirected the Dyke
didn’t exist at the time
And I grew defiant
of the spring that had clogged
first step towards her
Now the frosted glass’ been tagged with
words I cannot write
my name was a slur everything
I thought had a slurry taste
But the Dyke still
didn’t exist yet
Will I ever know her?
Am I really looking for her?
Rather than cleaning
the frosted glass
I left it behind left it
for a clearer one
(I fear I really do the spring that clogged some time ago)
Is my current
a pond now? I
won’t check I still
hold that grudge I know
they put something in those waters
that almost drowned me


Still, I didn’t break
the frosted glass.

I’ll tell you a secret…

I’ll tell you a secret
I won’t say how
the absent words became a story
in a language I’m not even fluent in
but I will tell it if I can


when I was fifteen I spent three months in Germany
so as to learn their language which
was like being perpetual and vivid
Übersetzung’s the only word I truly said
I woke up every day and time was clearer more and more
light-like until one day
I woke up and my language had departed me


I stood still do sometimes in front
of frosted glass
what was my crime that my thoughts were
isolated from me could see me but
I couldn’t see them? or maybe
they couldn’t see me either
really, I had no idea
Suddenly there
was no time no self no more
no books no voices no more
no more, really, nothing
I ate apples I think I lived in a
thick mist not even a fog
there was still light and I told you
all things were clear except for
what I thought were my thoughts
I couldn’t even speak German all I was left with
was this muddy drought where my current had passed


was language protected from me and my
knife tongue? did it
protect itself? this
would take too much faith in me, this
is hubris I know but why
did my language quit? At
this time I almost drowned in a lake
all was so cold it had snowed all winter and
this was the very first day of May sunny and warm
but water still cold water still dark
I almost drowned I couldn’t swim anymore I was alone
all waters were like glass frosted glass again
but what saved me was that
I thought if I die here none’s gonna
speak French to me ever again


by cleaning the glass language slowly
came back but
I’ve been defiant ever since
defiant of springs that clog sometimes


maybe the current’s a pond now I haven’t checked
think I won’t and it can rot
gave up on me once and for all


I think we are

just the crossing of the lake

a lake that can’t be crossed

still runs through us

its waters still


there’s a room you forgot

in which lie shards of all sorts

you’d lie by saying they’re rotten

or sharp enough to cut

the very fabric of language


there are others. people. I tell

the stories that claw

and cry out

on which I haven’t put the gentle words yet but

think it’s enough to have them

made into entertainment
I’d believe I’m weaved out

of this laughter and

it’s funny how

crazy I am I used

to lie down in the highway after school

I used to talk to a goddess

I used to have three pedophile stalkers

but we grasped their teeth the stories are

(are they even stories i don’t remember making them

into grammar and meaning it just had happened)

unarmed now you know

when and where to put the words

so as not to frighten others

so as to show you’re a tamed one


there’s a room maybe

I haven’t seen it yet

the woods cross you you cross the woods

(it’s all a metaphor

I don’t know if I ever saw)


I think we don’t examine

what crosses us I don’t mean

it in a therapy kind of way

make your life brighter make it colorful

follow the tips of some new man you saw on the internet

I mean we have this little stream we can dig in

I know I won’t find any gold

as I stand here crouched with sore limbs and my empty bucket

as I sit here near the river

what I’m looking for is the current

the current that comes and goes


in the room lie shards

that could cut through

all of my limbs and also

through the current


I should tell you

about the one I abandoned


Le sang de la rivière

She comes every night

And weeps

Or laughs

Like a maniac.


She wears

A ragged gray shroud

In her shaking hand a torch

Has you crying

Every night


She comes

And calls – what

What for ?

She rubs her knees on

The bloody soil


The nights she weeps

A shiver goes down the trees

She puts her head

Into your pond

She can’t breathe but her tears

– what tears ? Under water

Life doesn’t exist.


She prays

Does she?

She screams

She’s rotting

And the gods don’t answer

– don’t believe her

She thinks.

– Does she ? Under water

At least

Lies the calming void.


The bloody soil

You hear it

It wonders if

She killed someone or if

Someone killed her.

It wonders if she is a ghost

And she does, too.



Is lost

And yet tomorrow



Voir l’article original 609 mots de plus

this may or may not have been thought before

The psychiatrist asked me
how it feels like when she comes back I heard how
does it feel when she comes back home? She’s
wandered a lot she’s a stray who comes at night
like she meant to but
I don’t know how to answer the question I say
I’m scared and I can’t sleep but really
she’s got death behind her or beneath and
she tells me all about it and how
smooth it was when she reached it which is
maybe why there’s a pure white light
between or behind her teeth and she
doesn’t cast any shadow
Then there’s the one who’s never stared at death
she comes in early in the morning the psychiatrist
tells me I’m scared of losing
control which is why I don’t sleep (there’s no me
there’s no we there’s a light with no shadows only)
She tried to grab my hand tried to introduce me to death but
I never knew how to react when meeting someone new so
I just spat out shadow I think
that death watches over me but how do I explain this
The psychiatrist gave me meds that make me puke and faint
but the door’s invisible door’s locked
so she’s away at night always
she’s still a stray and
I can sleep
I sleep again I take my pills
I miss the light between her teeth

Alice Notley – Diversey Street

I’m in a house that’s too big

the Diversey St. house

Ted sees a ghost a young girl

cross the kitchen and disappear

through the door that leads upstairs

I don’t exactly believe that or

maybe I believe I’m the

ghost myself, asleep, and

awake at the same time

haunting my house. I see two

pieces of shattered glass full of light

you and I sleeping. Climb down in the dark

down into the basement or

up where the guests might lie.

Only walk free, only released

from fear in my sleep.


Aureoles of lamps are too bright, awake.

I’ve written a failed poem of lilacs.

Can I ever forgive myself for my thoughts,

for my fear of a crazed demise?

In this pointlessness of modern

physicality, this body, admired house.


And then someone says,

I think you should write happier poems.

More than once I’m asked to deny

my experience.

The weight of this house’s shadows.

I’m so in it now

As a ghost I am perhaps from the future.

Ghost in an own life of mine.

Because fear blocks the door

And can’t I bring the baby to the future.

I can’t believe the future comes

except as tragedy

I let smug men say things about my poems.

Am I trying to turn into

a smug man so I – fear sits on I

so I won’t be afraid, I guess.


And deeper still

who’s afraid, It is I.

Below who’s afraid’s the one who isn’t.

The ghost from the future. I almost

believe I will prevail

when I’m asleep and the future

haunts this house.

– from Mysteries of small houses, 1998

Morning routine

What are you, exactly? I’m
on the train and people are quiet
there’s no sky the cement’s gray but
the machines that make it gray are pink themselves


I can feel you, and know
that you’re a voice, just
time passing by, I wanted
to write a poem but you stole it
to make it yourself


I am nothing but a walking one, you say
my phone died I am alone
without my love who lives
far away in another city


You follow me, and you think
« Yes, this is about sex, and this
is a metaphor about inadequation,
reclaimed monstrosity, yes
this is about the space
bewteen your thighs or between you
and what you think is you »


Describe. That’s what you do, right?
You’re not even a voice, true voices
speak clumsily and spit sometimes, really,
you’re not even time passing.


You’re quiet, too, suddenly.
Do you direct
what I write? Are you an auteur
of your own life? making me write
in italics. Oh, why so quiet?
You’re in it too, and don’t think
you know enough
to stop time.


I don’t even know
what pedestal you were talking about. What I see is a train
full of tired grumpy people
in the middle of their morning commute.
I’m the emotional one, you think – and will stay in italics
to emphasize your cleverness.
Do you think
you’re God?
It wasn’t you I called
in the quietest moments.


It wasn’t you.