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
pitying the type cast down, aside,
shocked by the incorrect blotches in a face,
will you bleep
these blindsiding lines
loud as bloodnouns
on the lily-
as life and death in the blatant day,
bloated with natural callings,
deeps and lows?
Word-thirsty, what is blasphemy?
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
and little ideas,
questions, men, ladies
in a curdled script of cursives flowing
out of a poisoning pen
a decorative black letter’s blathering day
in a white wash, bath
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
atrice is his relentless, tricky muse,
thoughts of its glance
turning a man so chicken that he must
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
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?
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
or any food
for its bugged and crazy thought: cock-
roach, the sucker’s cock-
Or is every story—
a comedy, a tragedy—a cock-
seeds like words,
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 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,
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 take
the lover’s leap
not the Original.
The ascetic says:
Get the fuck out
Love is a countenance
in a cave of velvet,
a French kiss of a word rhyming with you;
your better or worse half.
For a loup masks
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
the favor, the gift, the surprise:
red, adamantine crystals set in white
the fine and shining blood of the Body
red fruits follow the white flowers
of the love apple
slowly soften the stones and amidst
the leaves of love-in-a-mist
blue cups rest
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