Archive for cooper’s fiction

May 3: Genre Frontiers, Gnomes, Lunatic Fringe, etc.

Changes in genre take new perspective

And might require a true directive

From a bright muse whose strength I accuse

Of making me the type of guy to abuse

Formula so displayed it’s reflective.


Don’t get me wrong—this is no invective

Against any quick turns, introspective,

Or likely to feel like one to accuse

Changes in genre.


This sharp turn has made writing more active

And my characters much more attractive

With strings of battles they will win or lose,

Flashbacks and foreshadows bound to confuse,

I’ve not been farther from science factive:

Changes in genre.


Gnomes in the nethers are knocking away.

They open your mind like a heavy book.

Gnomes in the nethers say have a nice day.


They’re pretty friendly—well, in their own way.

They get in your eyes, share your mode of look.

Gnomes in the nethers are knocking away


Because down inside we know you’re kray-kray.

Inside the old bin we’ll make you a nook.

Gnomes in the nethers say have a nice day


As they get inside you like a cheap lay,

Swoop into your brain, like it’s on their hook:

Gnomes in the nethers are knocking away!


They are stoic creatures and hard to sway:

They lead you about by stick or by crook.

Gnomes in the nethers say have a nice day


As they insist that your mood not decay.

Ingratitude’s something gnomes will not brook.

Gnomes in the nethers are knocking away.

Gnomes in the nethers say, “Have a nice day!”


Lunatic fringe is a knitting mistake.

It simply ruins each scarf that you make.

Wear it outside in the sun, and you’ll bake.

Say it’s a fashion; they’ll call you a fake.


Lunatic fringe has no grasp on the facts.

It hears itself, feels surprised, and reacts.

It flies in freefall, which never retracts.

It bounces off real: that’s how it attracts.


Lunatic fringe decorates power’s halls.

It wants to preach hate; it wants to build walls.

It wants to make sure competence means balls

And police who’s who inside bathroom stalls.


Lunatic fringe is a fabric that kills:

Why does it occupy our knitting skills?


In each of our lives, there comes an hour

When we have need of more firepower.

We see all our enemies in a line,

And we need action of blasting design,

Something to make them bend knee and cower.


Now’s no time for some peace-loving flower!

Find caches of ammo—and devour!

Recall that guns are how the West works fine

In each of our lives.


Somehow when things go far south of sour—

Everything’s blown to bits—lawmen glower—

You know it still wouldn’t be asinine

To blast your way out, resist, undermine,

But know that failures always will tower

In each of our lives.


If I’d rely on me, that’d be why

I’d lied to the ones who on me rely,

For truth’s when what’s better’s always a lie,

As counterfactuals open an eye,


Which is as, say, presently, with a sigh,

But rely on me to chat like I’m high,

Carrying on ’til you just want to die—

Really, I should let this go, shouldn’t I?


Letting go isn’t so easy, you know.

It’s more of a pageant, less of a show.

Full of formulae about letting go,

They’re numbers, you know, you go, and it’s so.


If you relied on this poem’s about,

You might go with it, end up hollowed out.

April 28: Surveillance, Fountain Bursts, Spirals, continuation

At the threat center, the hot threat venter

Takes comfort: he keeps a grand eye on things.

Life is for the surveillance presenter,

Who will drone on until eyes have grown wings.


Without being watched the world could be botched

And bungled: we need strong hands with our gaze.

The herds can all be beered, bourboned, and scotched:

No one gives a damn as long as we graze.


So we submit to the worst we’d admit—

It’s shameful: each day becomes a striptease.

Someone says we should bow down and eat shit;

We drop to our knees and ask for more, please.


The eyes of great gods mean nothing today:

A holy vision would get in the way.


I don’t mean to gush if you’re in rush,

But late at night, when you listen, it’s lush:

City secrets get whispered in water

In fountains run clear while sensing slaughter:

Businessmen, criminals, all in a hush.


But this babbling bit must be mere mush!

Downtown décor adds excess for the plush:

Make no more of this fantasy fodder—

I don’t mean to gush.


Think of a fountain and start feeling flush;

Imagine each burst is a dam you crush.

Smacking down hang-ups with a prude-swatter,

You may get wet, but you’ll get much hotter—

The dribbles tickle you like a hairbrush—

I don’t mean to gush.


Select symbols for versatility.

People know shapes will mean just what you say.

Spiraling down has strange ability:


Biking downhill has risibility,

A laughing good time to wind down the day.

Select symbols for versatility.


Downward spirals’ full visibility

Would signal a person bound for dismay.

Spiraling down has strange ability


To dull sensing life’s livability.

Things black and white look increasingly grey.

Select symbols for versatility,


And you’ll see their endless utility,

The magic of twisting any which way:

Spiraling down has strange ability!


When you’ve absorbed complete futility

And seen all meaning as mere joyless play,

Select symbols for versatility:

Spiraling down has strange ability.


To help those who like the world well-labeled,

Columbus was a great deal enabled.

People who fetishize taxonomy

Enjoy the fringes of astronomy

Because of things they’ve arranged and tabled.


Around here for folks it’s widely fabled,

Dude said this was that (with God he cabled),

That’s how things got to be for you and me

To help those who like the world well-labeled.


The problem is, we Tower of Babeled.

Which label’s whose—we’re whited, we’re sabled—

We don’t know we all have the same decree,

Reverence for life in philosophy—

We know what we are, not why we’re stabled

To help those who like the world well-labeled.

Big Days

Big days break routines in devious ways

With party hootings that make a big craze

For lucky people who participate

In festivity—they’re insatiate—

Carnival happenings, made to amaze!


Yet big day tensions put some in a daze

Like heroes caught in a robot’s death rays.

High times are groovy but not always great—

Big days.


Fine, but when you hold them up to your gaze

You’ll find that most of their big glory stays.

Not every minute has to inflate

A sense of wonder designed to elate

As long as memories live in a blaze:

Big days!

April 15: Martini Diversity

You know you own when your glass is a cone

Some brand—never canned—a martini clone.

Cucumber, basil, pineapple, and pear—

Vermouth, in truth, is a martini bare.

Cavemen flavor their mixed drinks with a bone.


How do you know the true martini zone?

When mixing them up, ingredients flown

Should not include alien underwear

You know you own.


Proper martinis make the drinker moan;

They don’t grant powers or the senses hone.

They might confuse you, make you wonder where

You have been standing, so you’d best prepare,

And keep the flask near your drive-me-home phone—

You know you own.

April 14: Draining Color, A Writing Machine, Killer Eyes, More

The brightest colors are fading from view.

Let light diminish, the traitor, the creep.

I know what’s coming and know what to do.


Roses aren’t red, and violets aren’t blue;

Feel the lack trickle down into the deep.

The brightest colors are fading from view.


Now we have dreams we would vanish into,

Dreams where detail is a symbolic leap.

I know what’s coming and know what to do,


Restore my vision and restore my hue—

But I need solutions that I can keep.

The brightest colors are fading from view,


And there’s a part of me panicking, too.

When the path is clear, the cost can be steep.

I know what’s coming and know what to do.


Some blindness is permanent—this we knew.

True loss of color renders my life cheap.

The brightest colors are fading from view.

I know what’s coming and know what to do.


The word machine is dusty and broken,

Beneath your notice in times such as these,

Tapping out rhymes never to be spoken,

Writing in verse too old-fashioned to please.


Times such as these, there is one thing to do.

A sentimentalist might stop, object.

Discard old machines to buy something new!

Sentiment falls in line when we reflect.


I never wanted to write for the void,

But the void for me had another plan.

I produce tripe that cannot be enjoyed

And seems to fit with no present human.


The word machine’s junk and will disappear,

A discard far off where no one will hear.


I don’t know whether you’re aware or care,

But, you see, I’m not altogether there,

And whenever you think you see my face

You gaze bright-eyed into wide empty space

So deep and dark, it’s guaranteed to scare.


Get yourself ensnared in my blank-eyed stare

Because I’ve got one hundred more to share.

I’ll transform you, invisible, no trace—

I don’t know whether you’re aware.


Some of our kind announce our work with flair,

But exposure seems like a true nightmare.

I will be nobody’s number one case!

Morbid kids won’t write of my cold embrace.

I’m a blank-eyed drowner, not at all rare.

I don’t know whether you’re aware.


My cat’s in my business—she’s in control.

She conducts dealings—for leverage, cat soul.

She commands empires and buys red states whole;

I’m not sure how she votes—think she’s a mole?


She is quite pretty, and she’s awfully white—

Yes, getting older, but an awesome sight,

Most presidential when showing her might—

She’s not a metaphor—say that, she’ll bite.


She’s sweet and loving and curls in my lap;

No rank politician could do that crap.

Battling evil for her is a snap,

And she’ll get to it right after a nap.


She has rough edges, but she is loyal;

This cat is too indisputably royal.


Sometimes inspiration slows to a drip,

For the world’s garbage and gruesome to grip,

Like a slimy, refuse-filled, sunken ship

Under oceans that deny thirst a sip.


Who could create beauty when horror rules?

Barbers are fine, but beauticians are fools.

Frosting on shit won’t grow tasty in schools—

Beauty’s a puppet for when passion cools.


Leave off the frosting, and what have you got?

Another piece of unsaleable rot.

I could turn it ’round, but I’d rather not:

I’m not a happy-ending-brand robot.


Oops, I was wrong, or now I’m on the blink!

Everything’s wonderful! That’s what I think!


Give it up, folks. You love’em. You know’em.

It’s time for another flower poem.

In my case it’s because I’ve got photos

From gardens people who own my house rose,

But think of old Burns—that’s why folks grow’em!


Poems turned flowers to ways to show’em

You’d like to, you know, um, maybe blow’em—

Say it with flowers—no one feels like hos!

Give it up, folks!


If you’ve got seeds, you may want to sow’em,

But without romance, you might just stow’em.

You won’t seduce your love with your elbows;

Gladiolas need places that enclose;

Words are your colors; go out and throw’em!

Give it up, folks!


I’ve drawn so near the edge of breaking down,

I think this edge might be my kind of town,

Or maybe I’ve been a wreck already,

And I don’t remember being steady,

And I’m some joke, a dancing broken clown.


Can you think—ponder “losing” as a noun?

Like the maniac who has lost his crown:

It was his losing, but that is heady—

I’ve drawn so near.


A certain episode might gain renown,

But the edge I see involves straps of brown,

Huddled in a corner with a teddy,

Reduced to rubble, always pill-ready—

Now doesn’t that cliff make you broadly frown?

I’ve drawn so near.



Tiny holes

Entrance, exit

Abundant little ways

Dots for some artist

Come make art with my

Tiny holes

Big business




Tiny holes

In and out

Breathing through my pores

Awash in sweaty sunburned skin

They sting

Tiny holes

Breathing for some artist

Awash in big business

Come make art in and out

Traffic toll

Abundant sting