William Gottlieb | “Addiction: A Sex Epic, In So Many Words”

With their humorous diction and sudden changes of rhythm and speed, William Gottlieb’s racy, percussive poems cover a lot of territory fast. He pleads for us to get serious about the cut.

BLOOD TYPE          black cohosh to bludgeon
      Reading hearts,
pitying the type cast down, aside,
shocked by the incorrect blotches in a face,
will you bleep
these blindsiding lines
loud as bloodnouns
croaking colloquially
on the lily-
white page,
throats, large
as life and death in the blatant day,
bloated with natural callings,
deeps and lows?
Word-thirsty, what is blasphemy?
You know?
       I’ll blood level with you with a blow-
draw a blank out of airs thin and thick
and fill it in,
bad writing for good,
the hounding blood in my hands hot on the trail
beyond the pale
where the world blazes away
and the clay
bleeds raw
deals, big
and little ideas,
questions, men, ladies
in a curdled script of cursives flowing
out of a poisoning pen
like blood,
a decorative black letter’s blathering day
in a white wash, bath
of toxic
they are on my head,
on my typing, suckered fingers.

COCK           cobalt bloom to code word

crow of the poem, and cock
is its doodling, cock-
opening, dawning idea,
dreams done, erection gone and pen in hand,
his masturbating poetaster’s verse
cocky, of course, his cock-
alorum’s little heart
by the same warm, hardly blood
that cocks
his cock.
     The cock-
atrice is his relentless, tricky muse,
thoughts of its glance
turning a man so chicken that he must
walk cock
like a dog across and through these cocka-
hoop phrases, tease
the consummating reader with a cock-
tail’s therein lies,
not as dry
as dust, which the feathered basilisk
snatching worms.
Definition 5.a. says that cock
is vulgar slang for penis;
did his vane, stiff wind
blow the weathercock
in a cold direction, cocks-
comb cap in hand
begging death’s pardon
for a jester’s courting hard-on?
     Is cock
a half-cocked code name for the noc-
turnal creature crawling in the Kaf-
kaesque cerebrum’s cockamamie plots,
coccus-slicked antennae cocked to lock
on you
or any food
for its bugged and crazy thought: cock-
roach, the sucker’s cock-
sure coda?
     Or is every story—
a comedy, a tragedy—a cock-
with big,
seeds like words,
like gods?
DIS           disremption to distain

     Dis is the god to dig,
the god of dirt,
the god no body dares to disobey.
His foreplay lasts a lifetime.
Then he squirts
you with the big dissolving O, the come
to nothing,
to dust,
to an underworld of earth.

Talk dirty to me, Dis.
Dis hisses this:

Playing dirty is my dirty work,
turning a dirty looker into tricks
dirty as my laundry, full of shit.
All are old and dirty when they kick, dis-
integrating, getting the dirty joke
exposing what was nixed under my coat.

And every word is dirty in the end.
Truth is a hole, nothing, a swearing butt.
So help me, Dis, to tell it like it is:

We mortals moan with making till we’re fucked.

LOVE       lorn to loving       “Love’s Radiant Wound”: Adi Da Samraj


from the perspective
of the lotus position,
dick in
an anchoring, anchorite trick,
head a legend of urgeless languor—
is a louse,
the soul’s louche lizard lornly lounging in
crotches sucking potions up mouthparts, is
making you
making you take
the lover’s leap
of faith
in bull,
in genital-
studded reproduction,
not the Original.
     The ascetic says:
Get the fuck out
of bed
and get


     Love is a countenance
in a cave of velvet,
a loup—
a French kiss of a word rhyming with you;
literally, wolf,
your better or worse half.
For a loup masks
one side
of a lover’s face,
is a disguise
for one of a lover’s eyes,
is a day,
is a night,
pretense of two.
     In the guest’s undraped sight
is a loupe
to magnify
the favor, the gift, the surprise:
red, adamantine crystals set in white
love arrows,
the fine and shining blood of the Body
red fruits follow the white flowers
of the love apple
and love-entangle
slowly soften the stones and amidst
the leaves of love-in-a-mist
blue cups rest
and love-lies-bleeding
is crimson as a cosmic sacrifice
where even lice—
plant lice, aphids—
are enfolded and fed
by strange, spiked, inescapable love.
    The True Lover Says:
in joy, My
Radiant Wound.
for, of





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