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Diane di Prima © 1971


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I have just realized that the stakes are myself
I have no other
ransom money, nothing to break or barter but my life
my spirit measured out, in bits, spread over
the roulette table, I recoup what I can
nothing else to shove under the nose of the maître de jeu
nothing to thrust out the window, no white flag
this flesh all I have to offer, to make the play with
this immediate head, what it comes up with, my move
as we slither over this go board, stepping always
(we hope) between the lines

The Voice of the Turtle is very grateful to Diane di Prima for her permission to reprint this selection of five of her Revolutionary Letters. The others in this seqeunce are Nine, Eighteen, Twenty Six and Forty Nine.




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