Disclosures

By Michael Palmer b. 1943 Michael Palmer
1

Beneath the writing on the wall
is the writing it was designed

to obscure. The two together
form a third kind


2

There is no writing   
on the wall’s other side

Perhaps this lack
constitutes a fourth kind


3

Some of the writing on the wall
will be designed as truth

some as art


4

It is said to represent a mirror
of everyday life in its time


5

“Fabius Naso
talks through his asshole
and shits out his mouth”
for example


6

“Foute les Arabes”
for example


7

Certain words and images
or parts of images

have been chipped away
These often turn up for sale

at sidewalk stalls
before the walls

of other cities


8

I too have an image for sale
It’s the image of a poem

and is to be found
on the reverse of this sheet

“Disclosures” by Michael Palmer, from The Lion Bridge, copyright © 1998 by Michael Palmer. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Source: The Lion Bridge (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1998)

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Poet Michael Palmer b. 1943

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, History & Politics, Language & Linguistics

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Michael Palmer was born in New York City and educated at Harvard in the early 1960s, where he encountered Confessional poetry. His opposition to Confessionalism found root in a developing poetics when he attended the landmark 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, a three-week gathering where he met Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, and Clark Coolidge. Correspondence with those three poets greatly influenced Palmer’s early development . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, History & Politics, Language & Linguistics

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

SCHOOL / PERIOD Language Poetry

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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