Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Battery

A trio of instruments you love the notes
indissectible & extending small rockets of delight
force to love, be loved, love accelerating
love momentum, the love to travel
we will never agree the world contains
so much phenomena we’ll put on glasses
abstract it give it structure make a frame
inversely proportional to the square of
two distances apart
make us a family of celestial bodies that we
be one we ellipse about a warming sun
love that sun
dual nature of electrons heal us o heal us
I would come back not hide be in motion
I would attach myself to home again
I would be sister mother lover brother
I would be father I would be infant animal awesome
I would suffer & become extinct again
I would relight the earth with love
I would be still I would be silent & quake
I would be afraid but not for love for
the many manifestations glowing faces
Love the notes as they pour like water
love the water under your feet & when
you look look with eyes of love
all the layers, the ground under
your feet & under the ground
the imagined creatures
& above your feet the grasses the
watercress so fine to eat &
see the roots & bottom of pleasure
of moss look into pleasure the color
disappearing or changing the light
love the light & see the sky the scaffolds the planets
the length the width the distance
the congruity the parallels the fracture
love the body keep it elastic
keep it dancing rallying on its own
keep it safe from harm from red tape
& to those next to you be kind be quiet
be exalted be a charm a fusion be a battery
be insistent be an empire be a symphony
& in a moment’s gentle passing
& in a moment’s violent passing completely
be her be him be them, see the face beneath
the face & see with eyes of love, gaze straight
into eyes of love with eyes of love

On occasion of a Valentine’s Day reading,
the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery, NYC

Credit


From Fast-Speaking Woman (City Lights Publishers, 1996). Copyright © 1996 by Anne Waldman. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Anne Waldman

A prominent figure in the Beat poetry generation, Anne Waldman has published over forty books of poetry and is the cofounder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2011 to 2016.

Date Published: 2016-11-14

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/battery