Craig Cotter

Sugar Beach

I know how to cut grass and be quiet.
I disdain myself.  
And that spare all around me.
It looks so much bigger than me
Except what Sarah gave me on Sugar Beach.
So you're my friends—peaceful people—
We'll get lost on the way back.

Acoustic Set

Jerry Wu sound check
steel string guitar and voice.

Dave Rosales and Jerry

a block from the Pacific,
Huntington Beach.


Baseball on the bar TV,
soccer on another.
Why not Ginsberg reading poetry
and a survey of twink marble sculpture?

Guitars not in tune.

Teens with no shirts
leave the beach after dark.

They just slayed "Dead Flowers" 
and not in a good way.


Jerry solos—
cured olives from Sicily


They smell like girls
as two girls walk by

then stop a foot in front of me
smelling like girls.


112 pages of Schuyler's collected
not a single poem
I accept.
Few decent lines.
Can see why Frank
quarreled with him.


Jerry Kitchen,
let’s shake hands

beside a pick-up 
in a wheat field

Detroit behind us.


Jerry Wu kicks ass 
“Here Comes the Sun” solo
steel strings.


Was it 2716 hits
for Rusty Staub?


Remember Williams' last fragments
after strokes,
when he knew he couldn't go on?


7 guys in front of me
like me when I was 7 guys
and 26.


Jerry stopped by
to say how he blew the vocal
on his first lead.
I agreed.
He said, "I probably should've stopped
                   half-way through."
"No, it's good you worked your way
                       through it."
He leaves to play maracas on Dave's song.

Just got cruised
to meet nice hair/bad fingers in the bathroom.


Dave's voice starts rough and unmelodic,
then loosens-up.

The server leans her very nice breasts in my face.

What the fuck
this baseball bullshit
blowing kisses to God
after an RBI single?
You got Babe Ruth and
Rogers Hornsby
puking in the Afterlife.
You shouldn't do that
to great Spirits.


Really sucks
it's pure obliteration,

skateboarding on handrails
you forget for a while.

Skimboarding on West Street Beach.

Cute Latin boy in front of me

two friends touch him with their hands as they talk.
It seems unsexual but they really want to touch him.

Maybe he’s magic.

Bungalow Heaven

when we walked through Bungalow Heaven

saying many of the same things
we often say of the houses we like and don't like

—houses we’ll likely never have—
I’m so happy we’ve been together

these 13 years.
Even though most days we want more,

most of the last 13 years
                        have been enough

and more than enough
as we've seen skid row in LA

and the slums of Bangkok together.

	—for Jennice Prajimnork


We weren't allowed outside until the dew dried.

I tried to explain if we played until the grass dried
wet grass would never make it into the house.

Unfortunately, at age 8, I could not make this argument clearly.  

	—for Davin Malasarn

Craig Cotter was born in 1960 in New York and has lived in California since 1986. His poems have appeared in Caliban Online, California Quarterly, Chiron Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, Gay & Lesbian Review, Great Lakes Review, Hawai’i Review, Ottawa Arts Review, Poetry New Zealand & Tampa Review. His fourth book of poems, After Lunch with Frank O’Hara, is currently available on Amazon. In 2011 his manuscript After Lunch was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. In 2019 his new manuscript, ALEX, was a finalist for the Tampa Review Prize. www.craigcotter.com
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home