Welcome! You’ve finally reached the website of Les Gottesman,

Poems and Photographs, and of Omerta Publications. You can

browse and purchase chapbooks from Omerta at the Bookstore.


September 22, 2014



Please help a great poet with pressing medical needs


David Meltzer, in his seventh decade, continues to be one of the major figures of the Beat generation and of American poetry. David is the author of more than 50 books—poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and anthologies (see below).

For the past three years, doctors have been watching a lesion on David’s liver. Despite a healthy liver, for people with hemochromotosis, the blood disease that David’s dealt with for most of his life, a lesion can be problematic. Recently, the lesion changed. This past summer, he underwent several tests and finally a biopsy, which was positive for liver cancer.

David is scheduled for surgery on September 22 at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. The plan was to remove a portion of the liver. A successful surgery would mean David’s hospital stay would be relatively brief, a couple of days. He’ll be cared for during the healing process by his physicians and his wife. Any unexpected complications down the road will be closely watched for. Due to his other physical issues also caused by hemochromotosis, such as the need for routine phlebotomies and lab work, his chronic osteo-arthritis, and Type 1 diabetes, he will continue to need and receive ongoing medical care, both conventional and natural/alternative.

Though Kaiser does cover some costs, David still has monthly bills and now larger co-pays. There will be ongoing tests, doctor appointments, and the repair of his stairway chairlift to pay for. He’d also like to continue with alternative medicines and there’s no insurance for that.

Though David Meltzer was a humanities and poetics professor at New College in San Francisco for thirty years, when the school folded several years ago, he received no pension and his main income is social security. This is one reason why fundraising is needed.

To donate, please go to David’s fundraising page at GiveForward.com

Thank you so much for being there for David—he is a treasure and has selflessly given to the literary and educational communities of the San Francisco Bay Area and across the United States for decades. The support of family, friends, and those who have met him through his work will help to ease the current difficulties and provide means to benefit him in the future. David just wants to continue writing and creating, and those who know him or his work will agree, he’s extraordinarily gifted and loved.

And be sure to check out David’s work, old and new. David’s Copy: The Selected Poems of David Meltzer (Penguin) appeared in 2005. Other books include No Eyes (Black Sparrow), poems on Lester Young; and a book of interviews, San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets (City Lights). Meltzer’s Beat Thing (La Alameda Press) is his epic poem on the Beat generation. David’s most recent books are When I Was a Poet (City Lights, 2011) and Stunt Man (Omerta Publications, 2013). City Lights will reissue Two-Way Mirror, A Poetry Journal later this year, a profound guide to reading and writing poetry, now with an addendum recently written, almost forty years after the original publication. David was also a guitarist with his band The Serpent Power during the 1960s, and is a Cabalist scholar, raconteur, and spellbinding reader of his work. Check out his website at www.meltzerville.com.


August 20, 2014


Beg forgiveness for having neglected this site for almost five months. Here’s a new poem.



Crater of a landscape you
the wretched escape and pause
immediately, check your pulse
and fundamentals between the legs.

Maria Callas sobs
over shoelaces, toothpaste, and
condoms too piteous to manufacture.

She shivers in furs
while the war paints a wheel
chair for Ezra Pound.
Heimlich! Heimlich!

And it takes years to dry.


March 28, 2014


New from Omerta Publications

Beginning: The Immigration Poems, 1924-1926, of Nachman Obzinger

Translated from Yiddish by Benjamin Weiner
Edited by Hilton Obenzinger



Now available at the Bookstore



February 19, 2014


Just published by Omerta: Arthur Rimbaud in a new translation.



Rimbaud 10 Poems

Translated from the

French by Bill Zavatsky

See more info (and a poem from the book)

and buy your copy at the Bookstore


 February 1, 2014

diane-289x300Please donate to the campaign  that is raising money for Diane di Prima’s fight against Parkinson’s Disease. Go to POETESS WITH PARKINSON’S, a campaign on the Give Forward website. Let’s help Diane collect greatly needed funds!








  January 31, 2014






Buy Sluggo’s Backyard at regular price of $14.50 and get Complete Poems 2005-2013 and SAVE $5.50!

Buy Les Gottesman Twofer now!

For details on these two NEW books by Les Gottesman, go to the Bookstore.


 January 30, 2014: Poem by Les


Night Hawks

Once immortality equaled
being on the guest list
and immaculate phobias had
their own lascivious cubism.

Let’s, we said, syndicalize
our irritation, yours with
mine, in 1984.

And I slept.

And Sophocles in a dream
was ghostwriting
thermonuclear daybreak
on Columbus Avenue.



January 5, 2014


Check the authors’ pages at the Bookstore to see what Omerta

writers are doing in 2014.


 December 24, 2013


NEW Bookstore!

NEW Authors!

NEW Books!

Go to the Bookstore NOW!















May 10, 2013


3 new chapbooks now available from Omerta Publications!

Order now at the Bookstore.






Haiku d'Etat cover version 2




April 10, 2013


Bruce F. Kawin comments on

Misuses of Poetry and Other Poems 

at The Best American Poetry blogspot. 



March 11, 2013


Tebot Bach announces the

Clockwise Chapbook Competition 2012

winner: The Cases by Les Gottesman,

coming soon. http://tebotbach.org/



March 10, 2013


Shut up and buy a chapbook

from Omerta Publications!

Click on Bookstore at the top of this page.


Omerta has published Les Gottesman’s chapbooks since 2006, and in 2012 began adding new authors to the catalog. The chapbooks are designed, printed, and bound by Les; he has touched every copy! To buy books online using PayPal, click on Bookstore at the top of this page.


Look for new chapbooks and new authors in the coming months.




February 10, 2013


Finishing Line Press

announces a chapbook

Misuses of Poetry and Other Poems

by Les Gottesman.

23 pages $14. Available now at


or click on the Bookstore at the top of this page.


And now available at amazon.com.




Here’s a sample from Misuses:

The Tempest


To whosoever’s body
walks in circles,
the safety of us all is the stairchild of our loss.


Just say your human speech in a slanted pool
till the doctor’s fired, or morphine
attenuates the argument.


In Golfe-Juan
all observable teeth are extracted
and placed on a blue dish by Picasso.


There’s mama in a Russian play
in a harness of bricks
to speak as the scenery.


Land and sea and
a shrunken moon over the story,
including this instant.

  1. Les, Thanks for sending! Glad to see that you’re continuing to cast doubt on whether we live in the “real” world. In China, near Great Wall, I saw a sign in the men’s room above the urinals: Please Stand Close to the Center of Civilization. Alan

  2. Les

    Many thanks to Megan Lehmer and Lisa Roth for making this web site possible.

  3. Gostei muito desse site!

Leave a Reply