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Joseph Cooper




It hit the ground and broke open momentarily mending everything. But a glimpse of a man’s soul rolls to crush the dead stomach. Suck the city’s nipple. Mount the decapitator.

We are all digested within this fat land. He did not even want words. He gambled the prostitute’s explanation’s for a poisoned estuary. He emerged through the bones of his teeth with lace panties over his blind skin.

The final act crammed with laughter. The stumps of amputees raised in a foul haze. We are here; we are here. Choke him, cut him, strip him to his shame.

Nail to yourself a chorus of wings. Claw a blanket of your brains.





Then take a step or two forward. Then cover his getaway. Then defeat all composition. Then paint images imitating words.

Then confuse moonlight for a manmade lake. Then fall between the ship and the jetty. Then draw a cell. Then bang planets with scripture.

Then turn completely inside out. Then the condition worsens. Deep in the map—pull their curtains tight. No one is involuntary.

Later tonight it rains. From above I watch rooftops spread red with claw tracks.





Before he went beyond his body a tunnel gagged his throat. He blinked and nothing faded. An adamant dead man, he licked the knife’s edge completely in two. Painful frowns clowned around him like penurious crowns.

Look through these hunted tears of solid ink. Your tomb speaks the collapsing magic of pretty lips. Around your neck the awful gash. But the world did not notice.

They humbled a bulbous crescendo. They charged into space gulping flesh and bones. Their eyelids became the dull gunshots of afterlife. Horrified, he fell.

Shut in behind his eyes, they tore out his entrails. Who will recognize me while I’m crying?





There he started to surrender. And the most beautiful girls blindfolded him with silk. His eyes became a haggard mask. Promiscuity binds design.

I can’t die. But what would you have? The wagon road frosted over. Forced hand middling life.

But such a picture, bathed in filth, turns slowly end over end. And I’ve followed you as far as I can. I want to live but I merely caress you curiously. My falseness; your sobs.

And lay broken. And swallowed them.





First, a vessel must head out into the storm. Then the sparrow’s body writhes and drags claw marks over the sky. The ocean becomes fastened to the moon and all the applause of heaven shotgun cloudbursts. Under a blanket of thieves we write an ambushed autobiography.

The opposition collapses. The ambush was always my body. The wind stared and starved. The sparrow became a weapon and a heartbeat.

I am bored of whiskey. I am lonelier than ever. With the ocean drunk we become pitifully small. That is to say the imagination moves nearer until I am sick of it.

It is a rock split, an egg hatched. A curious face awakened.


Joseph Cooper is currently writing and teaching in Princeton, WV. He is the author of the full-length books TOUCH ME (BlazeVox 2009)and Autobiography of a Stutterer (BlazeVox 2007), as well as the chapbooks Here Come the Groovies co-authored with Andrew K. Peterson (Livestock Editions 2011), Memory/Incision (Dusie 2007), from Autobiography of a Stutterer (Big Game Books 2007), and Insuring the Wicker Man Shadow Created Delusion co-authored with Jared Hayes (Hot Whiskey 2005). He is the 2009 winner of the Equinox Chapbook Award from Fact-Simile Editions with his chapbook, Point of Intersection. In addition, his work has appeared in numerous journals including most recently The Ash Anthology, BlazeVox11, Counterexample poetics: Assemblage of Experimental Artistry, Bombay Gin, Brown Bagazine, Dear Sir,, Diode Poetry, Sentence: a Journal of Prose Poetics, Sex and Murder, and Sous Rature.
 
 
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