Curtain House

Another hallucinatory character study from Alice Notley’s “The Descent of Alette.”


Indepdendent Work

“‘I’m killing no one” “You are not real” “You said so “yourself,’ I said” “‘Forms in dreams . . . “ “forms in dreams . . .’” ”I searched within” “for right words” “‘I will change the” “forms in dreams’” “I lifted” “the dead plant” & flung it” across the grotto” “‘Starting”

“from dreams,” “from dreams we” “can change,” “will change” “In dreams,” “in dreams, now,” “you will die’” “He turned” away from me” “Lay looking upward,” “wide-eyed, panting” “His body seemed” “to become” “more & more” “transparent,” “lose

Substance” “From within it,” “within him,” “a ghostly tableau emerged,” “hovered,” “above his body,” “was performed in” “air above him:” “There was a thicket” “in which a knight” “lay dying” “on the ground” “A woman tended him,” “bent over him” “in ancient” “Greek costume”

“But she” “was a skeleton” “with long hair” “she spoke & told him:” “‘What you have made me—” “what you now see—” “is your consort” “in eternity . . .’” “The knight took” “her bone hand” “They clasped hands,” “the scene dissolving”

Notley, Alice. The Descent of Alette, 1996