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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 7: March 2021
Prose Poem: 214 words [R]
By Jack Cooper


for Angie

A triangle by its very nature seems to be pointing somewhere, journeying, not leaning and overbearing like a trapezoid, not self-satisfied like a square, not complete like a circle but crystalline, fractal, faceted, an alignment of threes, the form you visualized for your world of you and him and the baby, the simple, the spacious, the beautiful. You wanted to live simply like the earth, the moon, and the stars but not extremely so like the woman who decided not to own more than 100 things who would have to discard one to acquire another. Bringing home a shell from the beach meant tossing an earring, not like that. You wanted to honor spaciousness like silence and stillness and room for breathing but not like the Tibetan lama who drank only buffalo milk and meditated on the third eye in a cave of the ancients, not like that. You wanted a simple, spacious, impassioned life, drawn together by the beautiful because beauty is fragile and therefore courageous, because where there is beauty there can be transcendence like a garden, like a cloud, like a smile but not like the Grecian urn, not frozen in time, not where love is always out of reach, not like that, not like what really happened.


—Previously published in Santa Fe Literary Review 2014; appears here with poet’s permission

Jack Cooper
Issue 7, March 2021

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).

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

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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