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Anne Waldman and Kiki Smith Write a Poem for Sojourn

If I Could Say This With My Body, Would I. I Would by Anne Waldman and Kiki Smith origin organza “spurned as a feminist” so we think so we march on Sojourner Truth sold with a flock of sheep for $100 Ain’t I A Woman? that was like to think a mordant time ago to be poet or assassin or abolitionist rustling the assemblages one such my body might offer as one does these parts & feminists needing people our colors cling to as they do our “outed” artist spirit & spike in the heart & in territory too complicated colors of many patched skins & migratory bodies through channels of life & death & wounds no matter & synthesis is matter to a feminist! syncretic form turns the singer into spirit-griot I offer you flowers parched of atmosphere & more tough-wound-resilience, lovely sisters & ghosts of the paper parted and radicalized herself to mold it & laugh the forest made the monkey the forest made 3 crows but the cave & steppe, make the human sister! an interjection to come out, come out now bejeweled, tattooed or wrapped with capes & shrouds with a circulation of images on this Nepalese paper that sucks up an ink like blood-of-the- mineral-poet- juice that could feed (& you feel) the world in the vein how it wants to be blood-let & flow, say again “flow” let it flow… want to live long & with seventh sense drink her heat’s fluidity, a trace or trance some with sparkles a bulb abuts head to glow with sense the valor by which we merit love is possibly just like this external to love it tries us, sensibly remembers “valor”, a masculine tone as it might be historically that they earn it, the guys try us on again for sighs, as we sit and stitch with prudence “her” story a kind of wild stamina the ubiquitous valorous body summons in the drawing in the cloth on the foolscap page in the paint snatched up by hand-maiden lineage & in a case of metallurgy gets sung to as it becomes instrument of daughters beaten with love and hit to strike the note (& as I headed to Ajanta Kiki said Strike the column in cave # 3 was it? and it will sound! as it was meant to) and answer the eternal question “what methods of political thought can poetry uniquely perform?” (& thought) sounding & inward character of human & imagined speech is a body.mind architecture sound, sound a line drawn right through the track toward all female ones faces & bodies open as you delineate them of a family, munificent hand-painted caves & caskets and in each a kind of pieta of an ubiquitous one which carries her ancestor’s thread, DNA made of papier mache the artist’s one-on-one dreamer, a double, her familiar she who might be spirit now, mother resembling a wide expansive cheerful force & character of the other painter one recently dead in her last days or maybe a body of light in a tradition that calls such wild folly sambhogyakaya or the “reward-body” when she moves from Bodhisattva & other saints to Saint or Buddha-hood & will arrive from other gaze mere names, props for shadow & light that keeps bruiting an umbra-phantom in dream & these ideas come through them although body vanish from our sweet touchable world explicitly against tyranny enactment of her haunted “witness” faces (have you seen the other side & what does it look like?) & anyone’s politics these days is a continuation of war & reprehensible darker sides they just can’t seem to get enough of it? of what? of suffering! I wanted wit…. got it I wanted wisdom… I got it I wanted terrestrial & got that too I wanted her but got her child-shadow her mirrors then a maritime floating puppet walking in another century’s steppes over this civic wide hospitable Brooklyn ( 18th century: how long slavery how long our suffragette cause?) that took a species of troglodytes to the perimeter/ parameter when I first tried poetry it caught my tongue spun gauze around it cocoon-protection…I nurtured it to walk inside a tome a tomb a shadow-box that put so close a mark on life as to be furred, feathered, dazzled embroidered the purr ended in there never “did not want to go no further” the life cycle of woman Sojourner spoke Dutch til age 9 & trespass stopped at a laboratory of sleeves O sisters as Jun’ichiro Tanizaki describes the head & hands only of the Bunraku woman recess shadows no flesh the stick pole woman syntax derived that she be vertical & locked inside flesh teeth blackened or perhaps with green lipstick the better to glisten in a lantern locked-light the more beautiful it, places private & like retreat return, reflect that it glimmers outside what to think of one who she would say of herself lived following on this or any other stage song’s deep emancipated measure…
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