Guardian & Scribe by Anne Waldman

In celebration of National Poetry Month, we will be featuring a poem a day from our collection of City Lights Publications. ———————————————

	You are my naming person back of the tongue
	       You are widower to the terrorist in me
		    Did she die? Poetry thrives!
	   You journey to gain profit from my words
	   You lie under brush, in ambush, I see you
       I see you adjust your slim waist, your jangled nerve
	I see the spectacle of a beating head a lofty idol
        Is life a temple? and we enter & sing these words?
		You bow humbly knee to ground
	There are many sacrifices here, what's the cost
	        Claw, hoof, barnacle, sweet slumber
	       Animal magic, the necromancer's rod
		The mouth is a wild wicked deity
	       Throb of chant, of heart of adrenalin
	  Makeshift ritual, texts writ in light & blood
          Remember a stab in ink, poison pen, lover's quill
	      Sing, “I am transmuted into dream...”
	  A kiss, one thigh against another, more crazy
			   mutterings
	Work to do! Shreds of work to do! Save the planet for
			      poetry!
                  Relief in a body in a lover's sharp zeal,
                To make sense, pierce the head-scream
     I see the flames of your bright ideas leap in the night
	And wonder at dark sea heaving under bone
	  You look anxious the world is threatening
	      Your brow lightens you are beautiful
	  Its treasure-eyes carried to the rim of the book
	      An edge is held discordant in performance
	Remind the witnesses to fight but no weapons here
	          Speak how to release a child under gun
	   You look bewildered there is no end to suffering
                    I am poet-messenger, doomspeaking angel
	   Here is dead poetry's corpse to burn again on the
	 	                   charnel ground
	   Millennium's corpse to torch on the holy charnel
	                                     ground
	Sparks fly out the throat up the page – seeds of future
			           poetic fire.

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Anne Waldman, world renowned for her high-energy poetry performances, is the author of over thirty books and chapbooks of poetry; “Guardian & Scribe” is from Fast Speaking Woman, #33 in the City Lights Pocket Poets series. Waldman is the co-founder and director of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

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