Clinical Thermometer Set with Moonstone

I don’t have any sentiments
would somebodything thirst my quench
how about
about my mediocrity of character? I dance
with the dead divinely
                                 in my dreams
I’m stricken deaf when I mention it my babies
cry they want everything quick! here. un-
                  as character should be
      like the purpurine it needs must be carved in,

Have you heard of the roguess elephant with the
brilliant diamond eyes? She is the puppet
of the dictionary
                           where is her beautiful orange
            puppy foot!   
                                 When your father dies
he doesn’t let you swoon   
                                       into aventurine or spray
of lily (pearls) of the valley
you do not bifurcate
                               you may
                   play yourself to your camp heroine
self—play it Lady play
       but delete no matter
       thank you for breakfast
       today we will visit with the ear syringe
       be the current density   
                                           honey flower
                                           ice egg
I love you as a fan loves air. oops it’s I
                vice-versa I
                                  told you about that
                           She is a bezel
                           awaiting the plop of a
                           ruby she must grow

and I can’t end and I can’t lie
               He held him in his own heart then
               may I in my eye now me

Alice Notley, “Clinical Thermometer Set with Moonstone” from Alice Ordered Me to Be Made (Yellow Press Books, 1976). Copyright © 1976 by Alice Notley. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Source: Alice Ordered Me to Be Made (Yellow Press Books, 1976)
More Poems by Alice Notley