Three Poems

Lisa Cooper


falling not falling
the leaves not falling
dash not dash-dining not dining
not dining is not dining
vending is not driving, nor haze, nor smut
chopping onions alone for the feast & no one came
is not dining, not vending, not understanding
the saint was lonely, she said
the blink of a coin for a bag of chips
garden tingling to its orb of light
the field with its arc, its hazel bond
never known to be idle
these glasses don’t see very well
what day is this, no crimp in the lining
pocket garden vs. End of the World
who was that, nearing the edge of a velvet book?
what biomorph or bromide could I be?
for the single hair wisping out
I am more of a purple spook than orange, children
I give you a coin if you pray for me
steady-eyed, like countries & planets & wheat—
some place you can pay for more days on the face of time
(if it’s my day to die, she said, I’m not staying home)
(she purposed in her heart & she fixed it there, a canon—)
sister & brother side by side
children kicking up dust
blue candles over the graves
fiddle & squeezebox, hall of flames, blessing of the waves
the golden opinion, the lake welling up, radiant again in that way
& all that came forth


the hard drive’s connected to the double-dot doe
& the chase drive’s connected to the microdot

the nose is connected to the zinnia spoonful
the heart hand’s connected to the shining dot door

the elbow’s connected to the sleeve-bone
wisdom’s connected to the wishbone

up comes courage, pounding at the door, says
your throat is your neck!!
the root is connected to
your head-bone, and from there
connected to           your home

on a startled-day express, you could look
through skin & see the blood move

you could see through a crony

you could have an outburst & be thanked for it later
the room will get all quiet for you then
a parting of the sea
quite quiet
all of a sudden

& it won’t hurt to swallow

& the hand can’t say to the eye, I have no need of you!
the head can’t say to the feet, I have no need of you!


in a bodice in a bower, a world in a moment
in a purse in an elevator, the misplaced lipstick
the prodigal shoe, enraptured the unseen roses
in a mouse in a house, in the scales of a butterfly wing
in a purchase in a storm drain, in a charge to rise
we are charged—
we the focus, in order to create a more perfect distraction
we the forefront, Alan Watts at the Watts riots
electric, Watts Towers, it takes a village—
we the people, a belief in our fate
Athens, the Parthenon, intricate notches of a single bone of the neck
we the happy             (& Happiness is also Work)
we the work, the effort, constant updates, behind the scenes
today was the first day in many moments I had a moment—
evening dust, birdsong ornate, binding the date palms
a dog on either side—
downtrod uplifted, silt in the middle
is this the point— it takes a protocol
is this why we came here, we answered
in order to rise & then go, we fall—