Notebook

Notebook
by Patti Smith

I keep trying to figure out what it means
to be american. When I look in myself
I see arabia, venus, nineteenth-century
french but I can’t recognize what
makes me american. I think about
Robert Frank’s photographs — broke down
jukeboxes in gallup, new mexico…
swaying hips and spurs…ponytails and
syphilitic cowpokes. I think about a
red, white and blue rag I wrap around
my pillow. Maybe it’s nothing material
maybe it’s just being free.

Freedom is a waterfall, is pacing
linoleum till dawn, is the right to
write the wrong words, and I done
plenty of that…

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