The first clear evening might reveal flocks of waterfowl migrating north. Tonight, the sky is silent and starless, and the waxing crescent moon set without being unveiled by the clouds. The night has too many secrets. April will have to be especially shameless to make up for this winter.
by Diane di Prima NEW MEXICO—I Even the sunsets here haven't won me over Haven't convinced me Simply, this isn't to me familiar land Pink ears of jackrabbits high among the sagebrush Don't tell me any different I suppose we all learn; there is in Herodotus the tale of Greek soldiers settling near Thebes each given a woman and land, one woman so like another, one field... But they at least moved from glitter to gold: As we step backwards, even the clay becomes coarser my thoughts echo big against the high, flat valley they roll back, bigger than life, to devour my dreams II—CORN DANCE, TAOS PUEBLO Red people in blankets wait for returning woodhucks. (I know it, though they don't say it) and beavers and chipmunks, and possums, and otters, gophers, white people poison the prairie dogs, if a dog find a dead one & eat it he dies—what kind of game is that? Red people in blankets stand on their high flat roofs outlined against the sky they chant—they sing and pray and it could be Morrocco except the houses aren't white the women sell jewelry, giggling, the little boys catch fish with their bare hands, in the sacred river III—THE JOURNEY The city I want to visit is made of porcelain The dead are gathered there, they are at their best: Bob Thompson in his checkered jacket & little hat, his grin full of cocaine, spinning down the street; Frank drunk spitting out tales of Roussel, of Mayakovsky brief anecdotes over bacon and eggs on a roll, his keenness against the wind; Fred in pointed shoes drinking an egg cream, his leotard over his shoulder in a little bag, waving amphetamine hands at the sky The porcelain city glitters, I feel my friends hastening to join it & to join me there: Bob Creeley tearing through Buffalo streets seeking entry John Wieners holding still, mumbling and waiting tears under his eyelids; I walk in that brittle city still sleepy and arrogant and desperately in love... IV—EVENING, TAOS VALLEY How did we come here? my bones keep asking me. they see themselves lying bleached on the sand floor of the valley they don't like it don't like it at all the moon like a bleached skull sits behind an abandoned house the house is melting, it is becoming part of the field Which ones are weeds? the garden teeters on the edge of success We live in a mud cave, with a stone floor a rather luxurious cave, with running water. V—FAREWELL, NEW MEXICO One thing they never mention in Western movies or those ballads they're always writing about wide open spaces: Sagebrush has a smell And there are hills, distinctly flesh-colored, lying down in front of the purple ones. O wondrous wide open spaces! O dust on the roads! O Rio Grande Gorge! Green Taos valley full of thunderstorms and mosquitos Mountain with two peaks, sacred to Taos indians Great ceremonial lake, fought over in congress O Taos indians, with your braids wrapped in leather may you keep your sacred lake and whatever else you would like to keep may you drink with brother buffalo on its edge when no one at all remembers the US Congress As for me I have just changed from the D to the A train in a dark tunnel you Indians wouldn't believe; a metal tube is shrieking as it carries me to an island with four million people on it, eating supper. The newspaper tells me that there is a war in Newark. My hope is small but constant: black men shall tear down the thing they cannot name. They will make room again for the great sea birds the woods will spring up thicker than even you remember Where you are, it is two hours earlier the breeze is cold, the sun is very hot the horses are standing around, wishing for trees It is possible I shall see you dance again on your hills, in your beads, if the gods are very kindNew Mexico Poem