Monday, June 24, 2013

Get this...


Portrait of Nancy Blood Story, 1835 Peabody Essex Museum


Get This
 from “Once I Gazed at You in Wonder”

By Jan Heller Levi
Louisiana State University Press, 96 pages

I did not get this from any book
 I got this from cornfields washed out, waved out under racing moon
 splitting like brain
 Right side right side right side
 Left side left side left side

I did not get this from any book
 but from tongue of dog
 wide, pink as my tongue
 long as I live lick lasts
 and love is something brown-eyed, drowsy

I got this from sleep, I got this from waking
I would have traded for sleep, waking
 long after nights of purpled sky
 nippled with clouds

I did not get this from any book
 I got this on trust and betrayal, I got this on trust
 I got this on trust funds
 on loan
 with interest
 I got this from inhale inhale inhale
 exhale exhale exhale

I did not get this from blood, blood
 means nothing, I did not get this from nature
 or nurture, I did not get this from any book

I got this from mind that muscles
 outmuscles heart
 I got this from hangnail
 from hangman
 from hanging above a rushing river
 this bank roaring
 that bank roaring

I got this from mushrooms, I got this from sitting at the table
 late later later and still I would not eat

I got this from leaves and spine
 I got this from stranger who said I want
 to take your picture, come here, come
 back here,
 drop your blouse from your shoulder lower a little lower a little lower

I got this from necklines
 standing on lines, sign on the dotted lines
 I got this from scissors
 but I was always losing the scissors
 I got this from A my name is
 B my name is
 I got this from scissors but I was always losing the scissors
 I got this from rock, I got this from rock
 and roll all the world over so easy to see people everywhere just gotta be

I got this from paper, please listen to me
 but I did not get this from any book
 understand me now I did not get this from any book
I got this from light on the books at 1, 2, 3 in the morning
 the whole house so quiet it could have been dead
 I could have been the only one even trying to live but I did
 not get this from any book

Even when I danced at 4 in the morning
 even when I wept at 5 in the morning
 even when I danced, even when I wept
 look, here’s the path traveled from eye to mouth first tear
 second tear

Call a life an open book I did not get this from any book
 call a life a closed book I did not get this from any book
 call may God inscribe your name in the book of life
 I did not get this from any book come into my library
 said the spider to the fly
 open any book
 it will tell you I did not get this from it
 even if I burn it I will have this
 even if I burn it
 even if I burn

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