FALL 2009

Alice Notley


Sophia thunderbolt cont inuous has broken out of her rose blood cell to be with you and your partner this perniciously warm day the color of polluted spit. Pollen, blue, covers you who are clients in the spider’s parlor: the CEO personally welcomes you to the blue fertility clinic of our amenably corrupt future. Time itself seems tainted Sophia reflects, for aren’t you it?

You and Ms.You are happy to have Sophia, Wisdom, alongside; You mistakenly supposes Wisdom certified by a machine-monitored study: it would have lent credence to her claims by examining her neuronal activity in the known cerebral area Sapientia, when asked if it were wiser to be employed by the Town Car or BAE.

We are planning to fertilize you in the spirit of the fashionably anorexic public works program. The spirit is called Like Seawater; You, you two, will give birth to flooded suburban life where salt tears have the paradoxical effect of causing verifiable growth as machines tangle to fill our retropathic air. You, you will b e happy.

Sophia cannot be their friend, for they are not real. This like your lives, You, is a story and not real. You says I knew that when I stepped into this room of cordoned-off waffles. But our ingenious counsellor will still help us get what we want.

Wisdom whispers there is nothing alive but what you know to be alive. What is it? The last time I saw it, it wasn’t my eye. We all saw it. A big dragonfly’s wing, the size of an ancient drive-in theater screen, dried up was crumbling before us. Was it our wing? Ms.You asked, Will I miss you? A critical question, because no one knew what they were going to miss.

Wisdom wonders if she would die if all humans vanished or would she only be lonely and homel ess. It feels injured out here on the street: do you hear the hymn of the streetlamps? They hum like thighs hmm hmm hmm. What are the parts of You left? My kind will always be around You says, belligerently. The war has ascended to the clouds, shaped like extinct turkey buzzards.

There’s still time, Wisdom says. That’s why they can’t stop themselves. Oh machine babe you are so pretty, come through the porthole to lie on exhausted waters of sapphire and dark cola. Will anyone protect You from himself?




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