Issue 6 – Gottlieb


Bill Gottlieb

Birthday Gifts

i.                for Denise
          Bill’s in bed, bard-head ardently hard and
beholden as a drawer
in his reddish dresser, saddish hand
a gangly gland
spilling spelling, a dawning wand,
glad wad,
long-tongued lad
giving five like four later
letters better than never
(never better, thunk you thoughtfully),
eyes piping a brain
to a page’s lane and these lines
that decide your mind
for awhile,
you, my imaginary again,
gainful in gaze and a-to-z guzzling
of the twenty-sex (heartsic) wanting
signs that idly guide,
the sampler of symbols Bill balls
up and downs like a shot of hot thought, a shout
out and in the rare-eared reader, super
as a woman or an an,
easy in her chair, easy
on him, easy as
she was, is,
in love with his way
with her,
with words.

          Bill’s been bingeing on the bound,
sound-soused, staid, play-aiding, un-
paid pages
for ages, guessing who,
and now it’s two
AM. Ham
it down, Bill. Act
like your cat and nap your pen, your nip,
the irresistible twist and stew of white
and a black familiar
as the liar you are, the air
you sleeplessly inspire, the fur
that flies by night
(hitching with which, its scratched ich,
its stick-shtick of bloodshit I),
this kittenish night
under the stars the fog erased like words.

          Three is nigh and, high
as a write, Bill says,
like a god,
it was a good
night, naughty

iv.                for Adi Da, The “Bright”
          Bill wakes, the cake
of the day rising, sweet light
sliding in around the blinds, sounds
(the heat exhaling,
the wiry whine inside his senile ears,
the pen’s tip spinning, its point
like a period on steroids, ids
on the house, crib-and-bib blapping lapping his
sixtieth birth
day a day away, Wah!
Hoo!) rounding a room white
as one shade of the end when
the disembodied mind dims Bright
infinity, insisting on
the pied sting of fun
and returns to turd and blurt—
spurt of Dad, some of Mom—
intercepting their intercourse
via a primal spiral of shifting light,
DNA, and backwards, the word ward, a double—
trouble, bub! bubble-Bill’s cell bursting with seems—
a morning, a life,
a file in the office,
an order to appear,
the rays like bars where
space does time,
a con.

v.                for Suzie
          The cat detects Bill’s trek
to the bathroom and back and tabbies
her whiny hind outside
his drool-proof door. He rises
like her sun and lets her in and she pounces
her hundred plus ounces on his
rented arena of rest and he scratches
the rich chin,
the niche of bliss, puss, pussy, cunt, cat—it’s
all the same
name to him
who named her
when nineteen years later
she comes
over for love,
grooms the poem.

          Bill madlibbed some images in the Grimm
night: a giant cock—rooster
(id-doodled, hen-poking, pen-jockey, Jack
on his wild game, all-smooth trade and made
to make, do ado, Adonis you),
comb like red come, man-faced, the rutting ruler
of a posse of peeping, people-like creatures
hanging out like thumbnails
in Bill’s yarn-yard, banned barnyard,
brains for shit, ur-man, with manners you mind.
Yes, that cock’s top dog:
It licks its Bills because it can,
he-he man.
Punch in, my line, win, work
them over,
devilishly cleverer
by half a mind toe to
cloven toe
with Bill’s inner teen
who plays chicken
with his shadow,
who crows
over the older body
dead set still to pork the sleep-prone world.

vii.                for the birds
          Early rain rinses the sincere
scene, where pines
green the eyes’ yes and white
whittles mist
out of habitual miles, the live
view of the lit world into which
Bill was born, body able
to bawl in the labyrinth
of babies behind
the pines bars of convicting cribs,
also bawl at the bris,
penis snipped
in a covenant with unchosen pain,
and now, as crows
swirl amidst snow
outside his window like so
many bows
on the gifted day, and he sees
an inside
out ow
in the beginning, in word,
has a ball, warbles,
a kidder at hurt.
Bill, Dr. Ow will
see you seeing now,
sunrise, snowfall,
the near cry, the far.

viii.                 Monday, April 1
          Midnight, Easter over, and the egg-
head’s hidden in his bed-
room hunting bird-
brained words, chirping, singing, happy
as a holiday, his poetry,
rising to the reader’s fathering eyes,
art, in heaven,
because it doesn’t die—
or so he lies
to himself, crucified
to a t,
head like a boulder, skull like a tomb—
and the prince of a poem?
It’s April, fool, cruel
as the canon
you’re not in,
as a casket, a basket of unborn
birds mundane
as Monday,
delivered by a bunny dumb
as one more fucking forgettable poem.