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Song of Myself at Djerassi

1
I celebrate every atom, summer grass,
my tongue born with original energy.
 
2
I breathe and like it, taste forever
the wood smoke, whispers, loveroot,
and vine.
 
3
I have heard the beginning, the end.
There was never more perfection than now.
Urge of the world, breed a horse and this mystery,
clear and sweet.
All that is unseen
showing. Every organ of me.
Not an inch vile.
Dance, hugging and loving.
Scream down the road and show me
the value of two.
 
4
Surround me, people.
Dress real or fancied.
I love the fever, the nights.
 
5
I believe in the other.
On the grass, loose, the lull.
The hum of how once we lay—
your head, my hips, my bare-stript heart—
and reach’d peace.
 
6
Child bearing a hieroglyphic.
I receive and translate hints.
Do you think somewhere
there is no death?
 
7
For me, boys have smiled.
Eyes are not guilty, and gingham,
tenacious.
 
8
The girl, the suicide.
The sudden center of so many echoes.
 
9
I felt jolts and clover.
 
10
With my dog I stopt
the marriage.
 
11
By her glisten’d little streams,
men float on.
 
12
Break the threshold.
 
13
The reins underneath commanding—
love him, do not stop, go with that rattle.
In the leafy shade rise together slowly,
wing’d and violet,
something pretty.
 
14
Horses eat the sky freely.
 
15
Altar with jaws.
The girl is the gatekeeper
who dancers bow to with half-shut eyes of indescribable dusk.
 
16
Foolish, regardless, I live.
Comrade of Californians.
 
17
Grass bathes the globe.
 
18
Music, play not for battles
the dead lost.
 
19
This is all,
the press, the float.
Touch the height,
the outlet.
Have confidence.
 
20
Mystical strength, I, you.
The months are powders.
Venerate hair, fat, bones.
See more not less.
Writing this orbit,
I cut my spirit to be
understood.
Whether today or in ten thousand,
I can take it.
 
21
Body and Soul, pleasures and pains.
I graft upon myself man of men. You
outstript the rest.
You, tender. I, half-held.
Magnetic south winds of naked night.
Far lover, come
give love.
 
22
Always-ready with you, I am too
partaker, extoler of
virtue and vice.
 
23
Fetch branches of lilacs, Gentlemen.
I enter an area and fully revolt.
 
24
A kosmos, turbulent, no locks.
Whoever is surging through me, primeval
I give voices, cycles of stars.
My mouth and heart believe
in appetites, make blood.
My hands have touch’d
my faintest wish.
 
25
Tremendous how I always send my soul
after what my tongue provokes.
Let it out.
Do you not know how
you are protected by the dirt, all things,
whoever hears you?
 
26
Listen to birds, flames, sticks.
Train cars are the young man’s heart through my belly.
Such bare feet, I lose my breath.
 
27
All of us stir.
 
28
A touch, ether rush.
Me reaching to lightning
different from myself.
Witness me. I am
wildly nobody
else.
 
29
Wrestling ache
track’d by rich landscapes.
 
30
Truths want delivery.
Nobody denies a minute of a flower.
 
31
The parlors of my hand, stucco’d
with plutonic bones, sky,
and razor.
 
32
Do not make me sick discussing duty
to God, possession, tokens,
the race.
 
33
I understand Death. How he would not give up.
A witch, Hell, I clutch weeds and horses, my
garments. In the night
the crowd torches my fort’s mortars.
I take their curses, the whizz of the air,
his hand.
 
34
What I knew in youth:
writing, song, summer, the dirt.
 
35
Old-time pluck,
we had fire, a chance.
Now, we are done.
My little grape,
we are sinking.
 
36
Still the salt flesh,
the shock of stars.
 
37
I am possess’d like convicts handcuffed.
 
38
Enough!
 
39
Savage.
 
40
Sunshine, you look for that pining I have,
that pulse in the knees. Grit—
I have plenty. Ask anyone
dying.
 
41
Help the sick universe, Isis,
placing on every idol not a cent.
The bug never worshipp’d half enough.
 
42
The thrum, that thorn’d thumb,
itches and thirsts.
Bring forth the sobbing liquid of life.
On the eyes, feast.
Host love.
 
43
I worship sun, rock, sticks, the austere.
Drinking from the drum, frothing
I turn and journey—
excluded, frivolous, angry. I know.
I know despair.
How the lightning spasms.
 
44
Strip away the unknown.
 
45
O lovers crowding me at night,
swinging over my head from vines,
lighting my body of hearts
superbly.
Every dark hush, we go
much farther.
 
46
I have time.
Your hand
on my hip.
We start this day,
become orbs and pleasure.
Find out for yourself.
Eat, drink, kiss, open
long enough.
 
47
Fill your mouth with waves.
 
48
I have drest in the earth,
cool and at peace.
 
49
Bitter hug of elder-hand,
I have died before.
The moon that descends
sparkles.
 
50
I do not know sleep.
I do know it awakes me.
 
51
Present,
wait with me.
 
52
Hawk and I, not a bit tamed.
The day coaxes.
If you want me again,
know your blood.
Stop waiting.
 
 
 

Christine Fadden's work appears in Shadowgraph Quarterly, Hobart, Gulf Coast, PANK, Joyland, and elsewhere. “Little League Girls,” an excerpt from her not yet published novel, won the 2014 Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival Fiction Prize and was published in Louisiana Literature. A graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, she is the recipient of several artist residency fellowships and the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2013 Blanchan Award.