Spr/Sum 04

Under the Banner of Notation


                                                 —for Deirdre

a way was caused to be laid down

across the bar sinister, somehow sluiced and stayed—a perilous

the chimerical hasp, never quite closed upon itself,

some half-hearted cloaking leading to a forbidden fenestration

arriving at the cram-down stage, where you get exactly what you need,
           upon the sole condition that you don’t want it anymore

for reasons best known. Insalubrious

a nice dose of Oppositional Defiance Disorder

the point at which the remaining parties are obliged to undergo what is
           lightly referred to as a “haircut”

an implicit velocity in the report, the way it echoes off the massed ruins
           and overgrown allees. The battlements, treeless

a chiseler, a gasper, an economical reply, a plug-ugly, a kind of gambling

in the fatally compromised tranches, what obtains is the inevitable lack
           of that crucial depth-of-field

late-model and fallen. De-mobbed

the plea as modifier of the deed

Like some sort of frost heave

the perfect scaffold manners they displayed as they cleaned out their
           personal drawers,

a hod and a barrow, a scape, a hash of it, a denuded avowal

soiling the memory, gently but firmly taking the arm

these futile correctives reduced

a former favorite,

a carefully-drawn set of figures, seated, side-lit, turned half-away, as if
           about to get up and go, engaged in some sort of dumb-show


Michael Gottlieb is the author of more than a dozen titles, including Lost and Found (Segue, 2004). His other recent books include Gorgeous Plunge (also from Segue) Careering Obloquy (Other Publications/Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs), and More Than All (Tongue To Boot), a collaboration with Ted Greenwald. One of the central first-generation Language poets, Gottlieb helped edit the seminal Roof magazine through the 80s. He presently lives in Northwest Connecticut with his wife and two children.