Bernadette Mayer



This is a pad from The Royal Regency, Yonkers, New York

If you knew your name meant the king the king (Erik Reiselbach), wouldn't you change it? I stayed at the Royal Regency while reading at the Poetry Festival at Sarah Lawrence College which was great. Our host wore feathers in his hair. This is Max's old college. Yonkers always means to me getting lost & staying that way a long time. Of the suburbs it is the most incomprehensible. Campuses are a world of trees, not quite really trees. It's like they're all painted backdrops in Hollywood & you can't touch them, museum trees. At this hotel they were having a thing for which people waited in line. It had nothing to do with the Poetry Festival, Wee Willie Winkie runs thru the town, upstairs & downstairs in his nightgown.




[This is an anonymous aging sheet of paper...]

This is an anonymous aging sheet of paper from I know not what pad, it's hard not to feel we'll go on longer than the ground we walk on, older than the pads of paper on our desk. Under the sky is land on which there is a road with a dotted dividing line meaning you can pass the car in front of you for a while till you can't any more. The line becomes solid, but if nobody catches you, you can slither in front of him or her or it, not causing a fender-bender or worse a crash, a derailment even, a separating of the motor from the part that conveys passengers so that the cars tumble down to the creek & we all wonder why we ever went anywhere besides where we were which was not here. But here isn't a known place necessarily, it could be identified by itchiness or scratchiness or the presence of a disease which causes either or neither, the continuous feeling of we being amidst all the scratching & within it the efflorescence of compassion for every one near & far. Who is our closest friend? Is she a relative? A bear? An owl? Will she be a shape-shifter? Will I will you will anyone dare to eat my oysters in front of me? & then gobble up my ideals as well? With a dessert of mascarpone cake with a layer of raspberry puree? Raspberry coulis? Wee Willie Winkie, not him again—oh my god, whimperishly I become a fly-by-night creature who soars by your mailbox thinking of your ex-paper-white narcissus who is now a trading-card poet. I wish you'd be repeatedly a porter not a carrier but a beer to, if carrying is involved, carry us through the cold winter times that usually signal a resurgence beginning with wildflowers, blooming coltsfoot or bloodroot. We're just talking hepatica.