|Issue 7:||March 2021|
|Poem:||169 words [R]|
The old oak had a life of its own no one could remember its youth no one knew how it came to be where it was Roads were curved around it street signs wriggled among its roots the sidewalk replaced a dozen times only to be sloughed off like old skin by its solitary will Every spring it seduced the sun with green confidence its great arms cradling the feathered and furred always making room for passersby and feeding the bugs and eaters of bugs Every fall its acorns were swept away and crushed by cars and its large working leaves littered the pavement like worn-out gloves In its later years its arms festooned with fern and lichen we sensed it had begun the ceremony of its passing When the ice storm came the old creature’s bones fell to the ground in thunderous chunks bringing crews into the night to erase all evidence and we sensed if our life is our own our death belongs to others
—Previously published in Crosswinds Poetry Journal (Spring 2020); appears here with poet’s permission
is the author of the poetry collection Across My Silence (World Audience, Inc., 2007). His poetry, flash fiction, essays, and mini-plays have appeared in more than 70 publications, including bosque, Bryant Literary Review, Connecticut River Review, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, Earth Island Journal, North American Review, Rattle, Santa Fe Literary Review, Slab, Slant, The Briar Cliff Review, The MacGuffin, The Main Street Rag, and The South Dakota Review, among others.
“Elm in Dirt with Bird,” a poem from his book, will appear in a Fall 2021 anthology of nature poems forthcoming from T. S. Poetry Press. Cooper’s poetry has also been selected for Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry” and Tweetspeak Poetry’s “Every Day Poems,” and his work has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize.
Awards include Grand Prize Winner in Crosswinds Poetry Journal’s 2016 poetry contest, and the poem was published in their Spring 2017 issue. One of his micro-fictions (Options, republished in Issue 3 of KYSO Flash) was selected in April 2015 as winner of the annual String-of-10 Contest, sponsored by Flash Fiction Chronicles. His play That Perfect Moment (with co-writer Charles Bartlett) was a headliner at the NOHO Arts Center in North Hollywood and The Little Victory in the 2009-10 seasons.
Cooper is senior contributing editor here at MacQ and served as co-editor of KYSO Flash from 2016 thru 2019 (Issues 6–12).
⚡ It’s Time to Rethink Recycling, an essay by Cooper first published in Earth Island Journal (18 June 2020); also appears in MacQ-5 (October 2020) (with reference notes added)
⚡ Ephective Ekphrastics: A Guide to Verbalizing Art, an essay co-written with Clare MacQueen, in KYSO Flash (Issue 10, Fall 2018)
⚡ Neruda’s Typewriter, prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 4, Fall 2015)
⚡ See also the Index of Contributors at KYSO Flash for links to dozens of works by Cooper, including essays, craft essays, film reviews, poems, poetic hybrids, and even a micro-play (Pardon Me) and an ekphrastic limerick prose, possibly the only hybrid of its kind (Demon Moth).
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