Today's poem is by Alice Notley

The Acquisition of the Senses

They, too, wandered in darkness, crying out for a home in the body of mercy.
The Dark could not perceive its own form
It was not a silk to be worn. Did the Dark want to know itself?
This poem is for me, I said, I'm trying to know something.
With what? "With" is not valid. It isn't a universe of language,

Abruptly I turn and flee. You can't reduce me to my organs, I say.
Thus does Chaos maintain her secret, from which I now speak.
But I couldn't resist the senses shimmering against the black backdrop,
and I put them on. The equipment made me look like something,
I was located and so I might die. Though not I.

These robotic jewels can be stroked or focused.

Parts of my corpse are laid out on a table—Someone
has destroyed my work, reconstructing it as a person: it's their
definition of appearance. It was not so lustrous, layered, and smoky as I myself am.
But I have to appeal to the senses again, as if they were more than toys
in their present form. So I arise and paste on my eyes.

Copyright © 2011 Alice Notley All rights reserved
from Culture of One
Penguin Poets
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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