Lisa Lubasch

Working Note

The video artist Sarah Zwerling and I were working on a collaboration, to be viewed in April 2002 at the Poetry Project in New York City. Sarah had selected a poem of mine, but I was dissatisfied with it. I wanted to create something that was vibrant on a visual level, that would translate on screen. I wrote “Le Cinéaste” soon after that — not in a conscious effort to make the terms of our project explicit, but in a series of quick jottings over a couple of mornings. Although we eventually chose another poem for the video project, “Le Cinéaste” returns here, to account for itself!


Glorious wishes taste
Sky of visceral trees

The figurative moon is not
Like a moon at all
But a rotation on the horizon

In the plan of “A”’s day
The World is a Star
Beautiful figures concern us

But not like the oceans around us
The staves of the (world)
And their excessive regrets

Of which we have only half-

Our taste buds
Choose us, not
Our assumptions

Panicking on the bridge requires
That we move with the most care
Between the fewest number of paces

“Your hazard representative
In a time of crisis
Make sure she doesn’t quit”

That we stand slowly over
The Order’s
Ramified Cause.


Such as the way that gears make sense
Hanging around in borders
Within the freight of days
The hierarchy of values
Grows past the delimited walls
Of principles, greeted by itineraries
And tracks of their own
Going forward
Never to wake without returning
To the frame of the real
Water or boat.


Rich sockets stuck in their sonnets
For sleeping
Otherwise on the map
The elfin cobwebs
Cupping words
And the halls
Of allegiance
In through the picture
Alias’s honor.


Certain allegories of reading
Begin with assumptions
About time

The world on an axis
Wobbling, quietly
Its marks and distinctions

Gathering force
Take, for instance

Collapsing its own
So also disruptive.


Clarifying the questions
Of mutable virtue and solitariness
“The case is a

Corpse and the wish
Is a wife”
Counted on by seasons’

Terse energies
The ligature of which
Way is not

In the way?


Not a path and not a past
The sea rolls over, blank

Copious reasons address our
Sentences, as if one

Triumphant phrase were
On the horizon

Visible sequences of nighthawks
Of immeasurable intents

And tensions give way to

Give way

We can rely “confidently” on our mission
Though not on our perception

For what we sublimely call
Content is otherwise

Known as                     --

O glory of flowers dis-
Identified ideas

And myths of
Glass and deception

Willingly chosen.

Bio: Lisa Lubasch lives in New York City and is the author of two books of poems: How Many More of Them Are You? and Vicinities, both from Avec Books. She is the translator of Paul Éluard’s A Moral Lesson (forthcoming from Green Integer Books) and, with Olivier Brossard, works by Fabienne Courtade and Jean-Michel Espitallier. She is one of several editors of Double Change, a web journal dedicated to French-American interaction in poetry (

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