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Alice Notley has earned a reputation as one of the most challenging and engaging radical female poets at work today. Her last collection, Mysteries of Small Houses, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize in poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Structured as a long series of interconnected poems in which one of the main elements is an ongoing dialogue with a seedy detective, Disobedience sets out to explore the visible as well as the unconscious. These poems, composed during a fifteen-month period, also deal with being a woman in France, with turning fifty, and with being a poet, and thus seemingly despised or at least ignored.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 284 pages
  • 159 x 229 x 20.83mm | 408g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0141002298
  • 9780141002293
  • 466,052

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Table of contents

DisobedienceA Scarf of Bitter Water (July 30-October 6,1995)
Change the Forms in Dreams
What's Suppressed
Sun Is Very Near Hot and Buttockslike
I Suppose This Is All a Lefthand Path
Where Is the Babylonian Meter with Its Lovely Caesura?
Help Me Corpus Sagrada
The Islanders Remember That There Are No Women and No Men
Red Fish
Enuma Elish
The Forest/Swamp/Gorge/Alp Hotel
Lana Turner at Versailles
". . . I Thought She Was Going to Be a Ghost Story"
Just Under Skin of Left Leg
"Have Made Earth as the Mirror of Heaven"
Left Side Liberation from E

The Strike (October 7-December 18, 1995)
Dante's Ass a Noble Prize
Particle Doll
There Isn't Much to Do If You Aren't Geology
And Still No Story, How Will You Know When It's Over?
More of the Assholes of Giants
Rita, a Red Rose, Hates Her Clothes
An Impeccable Sexism I Mean an Elegant Idea or Procedure Haunts the Stars
Breaking the Sound Barrier
The Morbid Managers Are Serving Trays of Charnel Flesh
The Big Slip on the Dead Woman Is Pink
Dancing into the Shadows of the Hideous Future City We Don't Think So During This Strike
White Rice Words Are the Means of Exchange
Seems to Be Heading for Mexico
Being with People a Cliche Eating Dinner
In the Motherless, Homogenized and E-Epistolary

Shit, Fire, and Crystal (December 19, 1995-March 9, 1996)
Breaking an Unsound Barrier . . .
The Veil Is, Like, Sexism or Is It Like It
Being Wiggy
Exposing My Breasts So You'll
In That Room, In That Time, But Later
You Cover All the Windows with Your Manuscript Pages
Will Die and Die in So Many Ways, as Professional and Cultural Entity
Do I Have to Be Mad Now Later and Always
Lost the Plumbing Lost My Story Good
Oh Put Some Obscenely Concrete Nouns Back in Your Poems
Healthy and Foolish the Mainstream Stars of Kneejerk Joy and Despair May Win the Future
It's Dumb to Be a Member of a Dominant Species
People Could Live in This Town, They Don't But I'm Going To
My Hair Is Terribly Dirty and the Dress Looks Drab
Meet Me at La Chapelle for Some More Salami
But My Real Dreams Are Objective (Objects Made of Me by the Secret)
Don't Give Me Drovel, Give Me a Shovel (Popular Poem)
Open-Stomach Woman

Leveling (March 10, 1996-June 17, 1996)
I Know You'll Make Fun of the Clothes the Magi Are Wearing
Crowded into a Breathless Bubble of Bad Thinking Our Poem the World Owned by a Few
Coming Down the Spiral Almanac Staircase
Could I Ever Share a Tableau with Miss January's Murderers?
Echoes the Past Fucks Me Over and Over
In Any Movie Whatsoever, in Order to Be Working Actors
Do You Want to Be Excellent an A Actress No Not That Either
We Should All Live Like Rocks in a Flat Field
Everyone's out After Some Emotional Action
Seen the Whale-Skate and Seen a Tomb
Keep Going Down to the Tomb
Not That Person Anymore, Mitch Being Ever Fainter

Four Scarves and a Lion (June 18, 1996-August 28, 1996)
Have I Been Here Before Is Something Unfamiliar
There Was Also Valium in the Drink, Placed There by Two Other People
I Don't Have Sympathy We're Equals
Pouring Rain No Love from the Weather Except in My Dream
Roaring Being a Given, My Roaring's a Given
The Lines Fall Away Sometimes
The Subterranean Senses Are Already There in New Air
Remember the Station with No Name
Further Figuration of My Regressive Backash
Don't Think That Thought It Will Poison This Moment
The Longest Vampiric History Vs. the Soul
Please Don't Anyone Save My Life Passim
A New Hairdo
The Chaplet on the Donkey's Head: Both Keep Dissolving
The One Thousand Arms of Poking and Pinching Love
The Usual and the Most Tenuous of Goodbyes
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About Alice Notley

Alice Notley is a poet whose twenty previous titles include The Descent of Alette, Beginning with a Stain, Homer's Art, and Selected Poems. She wrote the introduction for her late first husband Ted Berrigan's Selected Poems. She lives in Paris.
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Rating details

190 ratings
4.37 out of 5 stars
5 57% (108)
4 29% (55)
3 10% (19)
2 4% (7)
1 1% (1)
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