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.
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.